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J Biol Chem. 2011 Sep 9;286(36):31288-96. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.267294. Epub 2011 Jul 7.

Expression of truncated eukaryotic initiation factor 3e (eIF3e) resulting from integration of mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) causes a shift from cap-dependent to cap-independent translation.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, Louisiana 71106, USA.


Integration of mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) at the common integration site Int6 occurs in the gene encoding eIF3e, the p48 subunit of translation initiation factor eIF3. Integration is at any of several introns of the Eif3e gene and causes the expression of truncated Eif3e mRNAs. Ectopic expression of the truncated eIF3e protein resulting from integration at intron 5 (3e5) induces malignant transformation, but by an unknown mechanism. Because eIF3e makes up at least part of the binding site for eIF4G, we examined the effects of 3e5 expression on protein synthesis. We developed an NIH3T3 cell line that contains a single copy of the 3e5 sequence at a predetermined genomic site. Co-immunoprecipitation indicated diminished binding of eIF3 to eIF4G, signifying a reduction in recruitment of the mRNA-unwinding machinery to the 43 S preinitiation complex. Cell growth and overall protein synthesis were decreased. Translation driven by the eIF4G-independent hepatitis C virus internal ribosome entry sequence (HCV IRES) in a bicistronic mRNA was increased relative to cap-dependent translation. Endogenous mRNAs encoding XIAP, c-Myc, CYR61, and Pim-1, which are translated in a cap-independent manner, were shifted to heavier polysomes whereas mRNAs encoding GAPDH, actin, L32, and L34, which are translated in a cap-dependent manner, were shifted to lighter polysomes. We propose that expression of 3e5 diminishes eIF4G interaction with eIF3 and causes abnormal gene expression at the translational level. The correlation between up-regulation of cap-independent translation and MMTV-induced tumorigenesis contrasts with the well established model for malignant transformation involving up-regulation of highly cap-dependent translation.

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