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Cell Cycle. 2008 Aug 15;7(16):2466-71. Epub 2008 Aug 18.

Targeting the eIF4F translation initiation complex for cancer therapy.

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Lilly Research Laboratories, Cancer Growth and Translational Genetics, Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, Indiana46285, USA.


In multiple human cancers, the function of the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) is elevated and directly related to disease progression. Overexpression or hyperactivation of eIF4E in experimental models can drive cellular transformation and malignant progression. Elevated eIF4E function triggers enhanced assembly of the eIF4F translation initiation complex and thereby drives cap-dependent translation. Though all capped mRNAs require eIF4F for translation, a pool of mRNAs are exceptionally dependent on elevated eIF4F activity for translation and are thereby selectively and disproportionately affected by altered eIF4F activity. These mRNAs encode proteins that play significant roles in all aspects of malignancy including angiogenesis factors (VEGF, FGF-2), onco-proteins (c-myc, cyclin D1, ODC), pro-survival proteins (survivin, BCL-2) and proteins involved in tumor invasion and metastasis (MMP-9, heparanase). Recent advances in targeting the eIF4F complex have highlighted the role for this complex in tumor cell survival and angiogenesis and have illuminated the enhanced susceptibility of the tumor cells to inhibition of the eIF4F complex. These studies have demonstrated the attractiveness and plausibility of targeting eIF4E and the eIF4F translation initiation complex for cancer therapy and have prompted the advance of the first eIF4E-specific therapy to the clinic.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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