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Cell Death Dis. 2012 Mar 1;3:e276. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2012.16.

Raf kinases mediate the phosphorylation of eukaryotic translation elongation factor 1A and regulate its stability in eukaryotic cells.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Medical Biotechnology, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy.

Erratum in

  • Cell Death Dis. 2012;3:e317. Reinders, J [added].


We identified eukaryotic translation elongation factor 1A (eEF1A) Raf-mediated phosphorylation sites and defined their role in the regulation of eEF1A half-life and of apoptosis of human cancer cells. Mass spectrometry identified in vitro S21 and T88 as phosphorylation sites mediated by B-Raf but not C-Raf on eEF1A1 whereas S21 was phosphorylated on eEF1A2 by both B- and C-Raf. Interestingly, S21 belongs to the first eEF1A GTP/GDP-binding consensus sequence. Phosphorylation of S21 was strongly enhanced when both eEF1A isoforms were preincubated prior the assay with C-Raf, suggesting that the eEF1A isoforms can heterodimerize thus increasing the accessibility of S21 to the phosphate. Overexpression of eEF1A1 in COS 7 cells confirmed the phosphorylation of T88 also in vivo. Compared with wt, in COS 7 cells overexpressed phosphodeficient (A) and phospho-mimicking (D) mutants of eEF1A1 (S21A/D and T88A/D) and of eEF1A2 (S21A/D), resulted less stable and more rapidly proteasome degraded. Transfection of S21 A/D eEF1A mutants in H1355 cells increased apoptosis in comparison with the wt isoforms. It indicates that the blockage of S21 interferes with or even supports C-Raf induced apoptosis rather than cell survival. Raf-mediated regulation of this site could be a crucial mechanism involved in the functional switching of eEF1A between its role in protein biosynthesis and its participation in other cellular processes.

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