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Mol Cell Biol Res Commun. 2000 Apr;3(4):205-211.

Phosphorylation of eIF-4E on Ser 209 in response to mitogenic and inflammatory stimuli is faithfully detected by specific antibodies.

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  • 1NOVARTIS Pharma AG, Basel, CH-4002, Switzerland.


Phosphorylation of Ser 209 is thought to modulate the activity of the cap-binding factor eIF-4E which is a crucial component in the initiation complex for cap-dependent translation of mRNA. We report here the full reconstitution of the p38 Map kinase cascade leading to phosphorylation of eIF-4E in vitro and the generation of antibodies specific for phospho-serine 209 in eIF-4E. These antibodies were used to probe the phosphorylation of eIF-4E in mammalian cells stimulated with mitogens and pro-inflammatory cytokines. Treatment of human dermal fibroblasts with FCS led to a transient hyperphosphorylation, followed by hypophosphorylation and return to normal state phosphorylation at 16 h after the initial stimulation. By using a potent small molecular weight inhibitor of Mnk1, the upstream kinase for eIF-4E, we observed a rapid dephosphorylation of eIF-4E within 45 min after addition of the inhibitor, suggesting a high turnover of phosphate on eIF-4E mediated by Mnk1 and a yet unidentified phosphatase.

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