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Eur J Biochem. 2004 Jun;271(11):2189-203.

Characterization of mammalian eIF4E-family members.

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1
Center of Marine Biotechnology, Suite 236 Columbus Center, 701 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202, USA.

Abstract

The translational factor eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) is a central component in the initiation and regulation of translation in eukaryotic cells. Through its interaction with the 5' cap structure of mRNA, eIF4E functions to recruit mRNAs to the ribosome. The accumulation of expressed sequence tag sequences has allowed the identification of three different eIF4E-family members in mammals termed eIF4E-1, eIF4E-2 (4EHP, 4E-LP) and eIF4E-3, which differ in their structural signatures, functional characteristics and expression patterns. Unlike eIF4E-1, which is found in all eukaryotes, orthologues for eIF4E-2 appear to be restricted to metazoans, while those for eIF4E-3 have been found only in chordates. Like prototypical eIF4E-1, eIF4E-2 was found to be ubiquitously expressed, with the highest levels in the testis. Expression of eIF4E-3 was detected only in heart, skeletal muscle, lung and spleen. Similarly to eIF4E-1, both eIF4E-2 and eIF4E-3 can bind to the mRNA cap-structure. However, in contrast to eIF4E-1 which interacts with both the scaffold protein, eIF4G and the translational repressor proteins, the eIF4E-binding proteins (4E-BPs), eIF4E-2 and eIF4E-3 each possesses a range of partial activities. eIF4E-2 does not interact with eIF4G, but does interact with 4E-BPs. Conversely, eIF4E-3 interacts with eIF4G, but not with 4E-BPs. Neither eIF4E-2 nor eIF4E-3 is able to rescue the lethality of eIF4E gene deletion in yeast. It is hypothesized that each eIF4E-family member fills a specialized niche in the recruitment of mRNAs by the ribosome through differences in their abilities to bind cap and/or to interact with eIF4G and the 4E-BPs.

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