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FEBS Lett. 2002 Apr 10;516(1-3):9-14.

Mutations in the S4-H2 loop of eIF4E which increase the affinity for m7GTP.

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Department of Medicine, Genetics Program of the Winship Cancer Center, Emory University School of Medicine, 165 Michael Street, Room 201, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


Eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) binds the 5'-cap of eukaryotic mRNAs and overexpression of eIF4E in epithelial cell cancers correlates with the metastases/tissue invasion phenotype. Photolabeling of eIF4E with [gamma-32P]8-azidoguanosine 5'-triphosphate (8-N3GTP) demonstrated cross-linking at Lys-119 in the S4-H2 loop which is distant from the m7GTP binding site [Marcotrigiano et al. (1997) Cell 89, 951-961; Friedland et al. (1997) Protein Sci. 6, 125-131]. Modeling studies indicate that 8-N3GTP cross-linked with Lys-119 because it binds a site that is occupied by the second nucleotide of a bound mRNA. Mutagenesis of the S4-H2 loop produced proteins with a 5-10-fold higher affinity for m7GTP than wild-type eIF4E. These mutants of eIF4E may have uses in selectively purifying mRNAs with intact 5'-ends or in determining how the promyelocytic leukemia protein decreases the affinity of eIF4E for mRNA caps.

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