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Semin Cell Biol. 1992 Apr;3(2):107-15.

Signal transduction and regulation of translation initiation.

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Department of Biochemistry, McGill University, Montréal, Quebec, Canada.


Regulation of the rate of protein synthesis is important in the control of cellular proliferation. Changes in the rate of protein translation are brought about primarily at the level of initiation, which is usually rate limiting. This regulation involves the reversible phosphorylation of key initiation factors. Translation initiation factors eIF-4F, eIF-4B, and ribosomal protein S6 are phosphorylated in response to a wide variety of mitogens, growth factors, and tyrosine kinase oncogenes. Thus, translation initiation factors are important components of signal transduction pathways activated by extracellular factors and oncogenes. Of particular interest is the messenger RNA 5' cap-binding protein, eIF-4E. Overexpression of eIF-4E in fibroblasts results in malignant transformation, suggesting that it is an important transducer of growth signals, and that aberrant expression of a translation factor can cause malignancy. Elucidation of the components of the signalling pathways which regulate initiation factor activity should increase our understanding of how extracellular factors and oncogenes effect cellular proliferation, and the role that translation plays in this process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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