Recently Viewed: Marilyn Kozak Biography
Marilyn Kozak Biography
Biography Of Marilyn Kozak
Marilyn Kozak is a professor at the Rutgers University. She currently works in the biochemistry department where she studies the mechanisms of initiation of translation in eukaryotic systems. In graduate school, she worked with Dr. Nathans at Johns Hopkins, taking part in the "restriction enzyme team." That is where she started her long journey partaking in protein synthesis research. She spent her post-doctoral years with Dr. Shatkin at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology, where she obtained some of the first sequences of eukaryotic ribosome binding sites, which enabled her to speculate--and then test--ideas about how eukaryotic ribosomes select the start site for translation. She has published over 70 primary and review articles in the protein synthesis field. I will concentrate mostly on her earlier work that concerns the scanning hypothesis because it seems to be her biggest contribution to science and most controversial topic in protein synthesis.
Her major impact in the translational world was hypothesizing the scanning model in which the ribosome binds to the 5'-end of the mRNA and migrates, scanning for the first AUG triplet, which is the start codon. There was a lot of skepticism in the scanning model, because of many aspects of the eukaryotic mRNA. Therefore, Marilyn Kozak formulated a new and improved rendition of the scanning model, called the leaky scanning model. The new rendition states that ribosomes can distinguish between AUGs in proper and improper contexts. Even with this new model, there was still skepticism in the leaky scanning model.

1.Kozak 1981. Possible role of flanking nucleotides in recognition of the AUG initiator codon by eukaryotic ribosomes. Nucleic Acids Res. 9: 5233-5252.
2.Kozak 1984. Compilation and analysis of sequences upstream from the translational start site in eukaryotic mRNAs. Nucleic Acids Res. 12(2): 857-872.
3.Kozak 1978. Migration of 40S ribosomal subunits on messenger RNA when Initiation is perturbed by lowering magnesium or adding drugs. J. Biol. Chem. 254(11): 4731-4738.
4.Kozak and Shatkin 1978b. Sequences and properties of two ribosome binding sites from the small size class of reovirus messenger RNA. J. Biol. Chem. 25(19): 6895-6908.
5.Kozak 1979. Inability of circular mRNA to attach to eukaryotic ribosomes. Nature 280: 82-85.
6.Kozak 1978. Identification of features in 5' terminal fragments from reoviruses mRNA which are important for ribosome binding. Cell. 13: 201-212.

By: Jenica Tapocik

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