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New Biol. 1990 Jul;2(7):648-54.

Translation initiation factors induce DNA synthesis and transform NIH 3T3 cells.

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Biological Carcinogenesis and Development Program, National Cancer Institute, Frederick Cancer Research Facility, MD 21701.


Several polypeptide factors that are essential for the initiation of protein synthesis bind to eukaryotic mRNAs and facilitate the formation of ribosome initiation complexes. Purified mRNA-binding translation initiation factors were microinjected into quiescent NIH 3T3 cells to study the possible growth-promoting role of these factors in living cells. We report that recombinant eIF-4E and rabbit reticulocyte eIF-4F induce a dose-dependent increase of DNA synthesis and morphologically transform NIH 3T3 cells. These results suggest that polypeptides involved in activating the rate-limiting step of protein synthesis (initiation complex formation) can be mitogenic and oncogenic when overexpressed in a cell by direct injection. Thus, eIF-4E and eIF-4F represent a class of proto-oncogenic proteins that is cytoplasmic, is involved in protein synthesis initiation, and is distinct from the proto-oncogenes that have been identified previously.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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