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Cap-binding protein (eukaryotic initiation factor 4E) and 4E-inactivating protein BP-1 independently regulate cap-dependent translation.

  • D Feigenblum
  • R J Schneider
Publication Date
Oct 01, 1996
  • Biology


Cap-dependent protein synthesis in animal cells is inhibited by heat shock, serum deprivation, metaphase arrest, and infection with certain viruses such as adenovirus (Ad). At a mechanistic level, translation of capped mRNAs is inhibited by dephosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF-4E) (cap-binding protein) and its physical sequestration with the translation repressor protein BP-1 (PHAS-I). Dephosphorylation of BP-I blocks cap-dependent translation by promoting sequestration of eIF-4E. Here we show that heat shock inhibits translation of capped mRNAs by simultaneously inducing dephosphorylation of eIF-4E and BP-1, suggesting that cells might coordinately regulate translation of capped mRNAs by impairing both the activity and the availability of eIF-4E. Like heat shock, late Ad infection is shown to induce dephosphorylation of eIF-4E. However, in contrast to heat shock, Ad also induces phosphorylation of BP-1 and release of eIF-4E. BP-1 and eIF-4E can therefore act on cap-dependent translation in either a mutually antagonistic or cooperative manner. Three sets of experiments further underscore this point: (i) rapamycin is shown to block phosphorylation of BP-1 without inhibiting dephosphorylation of eIF-4E induced by heat shock or Ad infection, (ii) eIF-4E is efficiently dephosphorylated during heat shock or Ad infection regardless of whether it is in a complex with BP-1, and (iii) BP-1 is associated with eIF-4E in vivo regardless of the state of eIF-4E phosphorylation. These and other studies establish that inhibition of cap-dependent translation does not obligatorily involve sequestration of eIF-4E by BP-1. Rather, translation is independently regulated by the phosphorylation states of eIF-4E and the 4E-binding protein, BP-1. In addition, these results demonstrate that BP-1 and eIF-4E can act either in concert or in opposition to independently regulate cap-dependent translation. We suggest that independent regulation of eIF-4E and BP-1 might finely regulate the efficiency of translation initiation or possibly control cap-dependent translation for fundamentally different purposes.


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