The tumor suppressor gene Pdcd4 (programmed cell death gene 4) has drawn considerable attention because its downregulation is involved in the development of several types of cancer. Because Pdcd4 interacts with the translation initiation factor eIF4A and inhibits its helicase activity, Pdcd4 has been implicated in the translational suppression of cellular mRNAs containing structured 5′-untranslated regions. However, Pdcd4's role in translation regulation is still poorly understood, because only very few physiological Pdcd4 target mRNAs are known. By using a Pdcd4-deficient clone of the chicken B-cell line DT40, we have discovered that the mRNA of the A-myb proto-oncogene is a novel Pdcd4 target RNA whose translation is suppressed by Pdcd4. Interestingly, the inhibitory effect of Pdcd4 is independent of the Pdcd4-eIF4A interaction, but is dependent on an RNA-binding domain at the N terminus of Pdcd4 and on sequences located within the coding region of A-myb mRNA, indicating that Pdcd4 suppresses A-myb translation by a novel mechanism. Our data show that the Pdcd4 RNA-binding domain preferentially recognizes an RNA secondary structure element formed by the part of the A-myb coding region that mediates Pdcd4-dependent suppression. Previously, we have shown that Pdcd4 also suppresses the translation of the c-myb mRNA by a similar mechanism involving binding of Pdcd4 to RNA secondary structure formed by the c-myb coding region. Surprisingly, our data show that Pdcd4 exerts its inhibitory activity only when the target region of Pdcd4 in A-myb and c-myb mRNA is itself translated, consistent with a mechanism in which Pdcd4 suppresses translation by interfering with translation elongation. Taken together, our work reveals a novel mechanism by which Pdcd4 affects the translational of cellular RNAs. Furthermore, as c-myb and A-myb are members of the Myb proto-oncogene family whose deregulation has been implicated in tumorigenesis, inhibiting their translation might contribute to the tumor-suppressive activity of Pdcd4. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.