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J Virol. 2004 Jul;78(14):7707-16.

Structural basis for competitive inhibition of eIF4G-Mnk1 interaction by the adenovirus 100-kilodalton protein.

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Department of Microbiology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA.


Translation of most cellular mRNAs involves cap binding by the translation initiation complex. Among this complex of proteins are cap-binding protein eIF4E and the eIF4E kinase Mnk1. Cap-dependent mRNA translation generally correlates with Mnk1 phosphorylation of eIF4E when both are bound to eIF4G. During the late phase of adenovirus (Ad) infection translation of cellular mRNA is inhibited, which correlates with displacement of Mnk1 from eIF4G by the viral 100-kDa (100K) protein and dephosphorylation of eIF4E. Here we describe the molecular mechanism for 100K protein displacement of Mnk1 from eIF4G and elucidate a structural basis for eIF4G interaction with Mnk1 and 100K proteins and Ad inhibition of cellular protein synthesis. The eIF4G-binding site is located in an N-terminal 66-amino-acid peptide of 100K which is sufficient to bind eIF4G, displace Mnk1, block eIF4E phosphorylation, and inhibit eIF4F (cap)-dependent cellular mRNA translation. Ad 100K and Mnk1 proteins possess a common eIF4G-binding motif, but 100K protein binds more strongly to eIF4G than does Mnk1. Unlike Mnk1, for which binding to eIF4G is RNA dependent, competitive binding by 100K protein is RNA independent. These data support a model whereby 100K protein blocks cellular protein synthesis by coopting eIF4G and cap-initiation complexes regardless of their association with mRNA and displacing or blocking binding by Mnk1, which occurs only on preassembled complexes, resulting in dephosphorylation of eIF4E.

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