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Mol Cell Biol. 2013 Jun;33(11):2285-301. doi: 10.1128/MCB.01517-12. Epub 2013 Apr 1.

Inactivation of the mTORC1-eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E pathway alters stress granule formation.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Laval University, Canada .


Stress granules (SG) are cytoplasmic multimeric RNA bodies that form under stress conditions known to inhibit cap-dependent translation. SG contain translation initiation factors, RNA binding proteins, and signaling molecules. SG are known to inhibit apoptotic pathways, thus contributing to chemo- and radioresistance in tumor cells. However, whether stress granule formation involves oncogenic signaling pathways is currently unknown. Here, we report a novel role of the mTORC1-eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) pathway, a key regulator of cap-dependent translation initiation of oncogenic factors, in SG formation. mTORC1 specifically drives the eIF4E-mediated formation of SG through the phosphorylation of 4E-BP1, a key factor known to inhibit formation of the mTORC1-dependent eIF4E-eIF4GI interactions. Disrupting formation of SG by inactivation of mTOR with its specific inhibitor pp242 or by depletion of eIF4E or eIF4GI blocks the SG-associated antiapoptotic p21 pathway. Finally, pp242 sensitizes cancer cells to death in vitro and inhibits the growth of chemoresistant tumors in vivo. This work therefore highlights a novel role of the oncogenic mTORC1-eIF4E pathway, namely, the promotion of formation of antiapoptotic SG.

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