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Cell Death Dis. 2015 Jan 15;6:e1591. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2014.554.

Phosphorylation of the translation initiation factor eIF2α at serine 51 determines the cell fate decisions of Akt in response to oxidative stress.

Author information

1
Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, McGill University, Sir Mortimer B. Davis-Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3T 1E2.
2
1] Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, McGill University, Sir Mortimer B. Davis-Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3T 1E2 [2] Department of Cancer Immunology, Chair of Medical Biotechnology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland.
3
1] Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, McGill University, Sir Mortimer B. Davis-Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3T 1E2 [2] Division of Experimental Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 1A3.
4
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3G 1Y6.
5
1] Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, McGill University, Sir Mortimer B. Davis-Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3T 1E2 [2] Department of Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H2W 1S6.

Abstract

Phosphorylation of the α subunit of the translation initiation factor eIF2 at serine 51 (eIF2αP) is a master regulator of cell adaptation to various forms of stress with implications in antitumor treatments with chemotherapeutic drugs. Herein, we demonstrate that genetic loss of the eIF2α kinases PERK and GCN2 or impaired eIF2αP by genetic means renders immortalized mouse fibroblasts as well as human tumor cells increasingly susceptible to death by oxidative stress. We also show that eIF2αP facilitates Akt activation in cells subjected to oxidative insults. However, whereas Akt activation has a pro-survival role in eIF2αP-proficient cells, the lesser amount of activated Akt in eIF2αP-deficient cells promotes death. At the molecular level, we demonstrate that eIF2αP acts through an ATF4-independent mechanism to control Akt activity via the regulation of mTORC1. Specifically, eIF2αP downregulates mTORC1 activity, which in turn relieves the feedback inhibition of PI3K resulting in the upregulation of the mTORC2-Akt arm. Inhibition of mTORC1 by rapamycin restores Akt activity in eIF2αP-deficient cells but renders them highly susceptible to Akt-mediated death by oxidative stress. Our data demonstrate that eIF2αP acts as a molecular switch that dictates either cell survival or death by activated Akt in response to oxidative stress. Hence, we propose that inactivation of eIF2αP may be a suitable approach to unleash the killing power of Akt in tumor cells treated with pro-oxidant drugs.

PMID:
25590801
PMCID:
PMC4669752
DOI:
10.1038/cddis.2014.554
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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