Résumé : We have previously reported that the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of the human interferon-beta mRNA has an inhibitory effect on the mRNA translation both in vitro, in a rabbit reticulocyte lysate, and in vivo, in the Xenopus oocyte. In the present study, we identify the sequence in the 3' UTR which is responsible for this translation inhibition. We show that this sequence is located between the 100th and 161st nucleotides downstream from the translation stop codon. It contains several repeats of the A + U-rich consensus octanucleotide UUAUUUAU, which is also present in the 3' UTR of several mRNAs involved in the inflammatory response. We also demonstrate here that the inhibitory effect of the sequence on the mRNA translation does not depend on its position in relation to the termination codon. However, no inhibition of translation is observed when this sequence is inserted in the 5' UTR of the mRNA. The removal of the translation inhibitory sequence not only improves the mRNA translation in Xenopus oocytes but it also strongly decreases the IFN-beta mRNA stability in those cells. This suggests that, in this system at least, the mRNA degradation is linked to its translational efficiency.