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Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2006 Sep;59(3):169-80. Epub 2006 Jul 7.

Initiation factor eIF3 and regulation of mRNA translation, cell growth, and cancer.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Indiana University Cancer Center, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.


One important regulation of gene expression in eukaryotes occurs at the level of mRNA translation, specifically at the step of translational initiation. Deregulation at this step will cause abnormal gene expression, leading to altered cell growth and possibly cancer. Translational initiation is controlled by multiple eIFs and one of these, eIF3, is the most complex and important factor for regulation of translation. Various subunits of eIF3 have recently been implicated to play important roles in regulating translation of specific mRNAs encoding proteins important for cell growth control. The expression of these eIF3 subunits has also been found altered in various human tumors and their altered expression may cause cancer and/or affect prognosis. Although the importance of translational regulation in cell growth control and oncogenesis is being slowly recognized, more vigorous studies on the role of eIFs in oncogenesis and cancer will likely benefit diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of human cancers.

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