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Br J Cancer. 2009 Aug 4;101(3):424-31. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6605184. Epub 2009 Jul 14.

Activated 4E-BP1 represses tumourigenesis and IGF-I-mediated activation of the eIF4F complex in mesothelioma.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.



Insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I signalling stimulates proliferation, survival, and invasion in malignant mesothelioma and other tumour types. Studies have found that tumourigenesis is linked to dysregulation of cap-dependent protein translation.


The effect of IGF stimulation on cap-mediated translation activation in mesothelioma cell lines was studied using binding assays to a synthetic 7-methyl GTP-cap analogue. In addition, cap-mediated translation was genetically repressed in these cells with a dominant active motive of 4E-BP1.


In most mesothelioma cell lines, IGF-I stimulation resulted in a hyperphosphorylation-mediated inactivation of 4E-BP1 compared with that in normal mesothelial cells. An inhibitor of Akt diminished IGF-I-mediated phosphorylation of 4E-BP1, whereas inhibiting MAPK signalling had no such effect. IGF-I stimulation resulted in the activation of the cap-mediated translation complex as indicated by an increased eIF4G/eIF4E ratio in cap-affinity assays. Akt inhibition reversed the eIF4G/eIF4E ratio. Mesothelioma cells transfected with an activated 4E-BP1 protein (4E-BP1(A37/A46)) were resistant to IGF-I-mediated growth, motility, and colony formation. In a murine xenograft model, mesothelioma cells expressing the dominant active 4E-BP1(A37/A46) repressor protein showed abrogated tumourigenicity compared with control tumours.


IGF-I signalling in mesothelioma cells drives cell proliferation, motility, and tumourigenesis through its ability to activate cap-mediated protein translation complex through PI3K/Akt/mTOR signalling.

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