Translational regulation refers to the control of the levels of protein synthesized from its mRNA. The corresponding mechanisms are primarily targeted on the control of ribosome recruitment on the initiation codon, but can also involve modulation of the elongation or termination of protein synthesis. In most cases, translational regulation involves specific RNA secondary structures on the mRNA. An example of regulation at the level of initiation is the phosphorylation of the translation initiation factor eIF2. An example of regulation at the level of termination is functional translational readthrough of the lactate dehydrogenase gene LDHB.
Other common translation regulatory elements include upstream open reading frames, codon optimality, start codon context (Kozak sequence optimality).