ABSTRACT: Numerous cellular mRNAs encoding proteins critical during cell stress, apoptosis, and the cell cycle seem to be translated by means of internal ribosome entry sequences (IRES) when cap-dependent translation is compromised. The underlying molecular mechanisms are largely unknown. Using a HeLa-based cell-free translation system that mirrors the function of cellular IRESs in vitro, we recently demonstrated that translation from the c-myc IRES continues after proteolytic cleavage of eukaryotic translation initiation factor (eIF) 4G. To address the role of eIF4G in cellular IRES-driven translation directly, we immunodepleted eIF4GI from the HeLa cell translation extracts. After efficient depletion of eIF4GI (>90%), both cap-dependent and c-myc IRES-dependent translations are diminished to residual levels (<5%). In striking contrast to cap-dependent translation, c-myc IRES-dependent translation is fully restored by addition of the conserved middle fragment of eIF4GI, harboring the eIF3- and eIF4A-binding sites. p97, an eIF4G-related protein that has been described both as an inhibitor of translation and as a modulator of apoptosis, not only suffices to also rescue c-myc IRES-driven (but not cap-dependent) translation, but it even superinduces IRES-mediated translation 3-fold compared with nondepleted extracts. Interestingly, both p97 and the middle fragment of eIF4GI also rescue translation driven by proapoptotic (p97) and antiapoptotic [X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP) and cellular inhibitor of apoptosis 1 (c-IAP1)] IRESs, reflecting a broader role of these polypeptides in cellular IRES-mediated translation and indicating their importance in apoptosis.
Project description:Apoptosis is characterized by a translation switch from cap-dependent to internal ribosome entry site (IRES)-mediated protein translation. During apoptosis, several members of the eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF)4G family are cleaved specifically by caspases. Here we investigated which of the caspase-cleaved eIF4G family members could support cap-independent translation through IRES elements that retain activity in the dying cell. We focused on two major fragments arising from the cleavage of eIF4GI and death-associated protein 5 (DAP5) proteins (eIF4GI M-FAG/p76 and DAP5/p86, respectively), because they are the only potential candidates to preserve the minimal scaffold function needed to mediate translation. Transfection-based experiments in cell cultures indicated that expression of DAP5/p86 in cells stimulated protein translation from the IRESs of c-Myc, Apaf-1, DAP5, and XIAP. In contrast, these IRESs were refractory to the ectopically expressed eIF4GI M-FAG/p76. Furthermore, our study provides in vivo evidence that the caspase-mediated removal of the C-terminal tail of DAP5/p97 relieves an inhibitory effect on the protein's ability to support cap-independent translation through the DAP5 IRES. Altogether, the data suggest that DAP5 is a caspase-activated translation factor that mediates translation through a repertoire of IRES elements, supporting the translation of apoptosis-related proteins.
Project description:Picornaviruses use internal ribosome entry sites (IRESs) to translate their genomes into protein. A typical feature of these IRESs is their ability to bind directly to the eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF) 4G component of the eIF4F cap-binding complex. Remarkably, the hepatitis A virus (HAV) IRES requires eIF4E for its translation, but no mechanism has been proposed to explain this. Here we demonstrate that eIF4E regulates HAV IRES-mediated translation by two distinct mechanisms. First, eIF4E binding to eIF4G generates a high-affinity binding conformation of the eIF4F complex for the IRES. Second, eIF4E binding to eIF4G strongly stimulates the rate of duplex unwinding by eIF4A on the IRES. Our data also reveal that eIF4E promotes eIF4F binding and increases the rate of restructuring of the poliovirus (PV) IRES. This provides a mechanism to explain why PV IRES-mediated translation is stimulated by eIF4E availability in nuclease-treated cell-free extracts. Using a PV replicon and purified virion RNA, we also show that eIF4E promotes the rate of eIF4G cleavage by the 2A protease. Finally, we show that cleavage of eIF4G by the poliovirus 2A protease generates a high-affinity IRES binding truncation of eIF4G that stimulates eIF4A duplex unwinding independently of eIF4E. Therefore, our data reveal how picornavirus IRESs use eIF4E-dependent and -independent mechanisms to promote their translation.
Project description:Initiation of protein synthesis in eukaryotes requires recruitment of the ribosome to the mRNA and its translocation to the start codon. There are at least two distinct mechanisms by which this process can be achieved; the ribosome can be recruited either to the cap structure at the 5' end of the message or to an internal ribosome entry segment (IRES), a complex RNA structural element located in the 5' untranslated region (5'-UTR) of the mRNA. However, it is not well understood how cellular IRESs function to recruit the ribosome or how the 40S ribosomal subunits translocate from the initial recruitment site on the mRNA to the AUG initiation codon. We have investigated the canonical factors that are required by the IRESs found in the 5'-UTRs of c-, L-, and N-myc, using specific inhibitors and a tissue culture-based assay system, and have shown that they differ considerably in their requirements. The L-myc IRES requires the eIF4F complex and the association of PABP and eIF3 with eIF4G for activity. The minimum requirements of the N- and c-myc IRESs are the C-terminal domain of eIF4G to which eIF4A is bound and eIF3, although interestingly this protein does not appear to be recruited to the IRES RNA via eIF4G. Finally, our data show that all three IRESs require a ternary complex, although in contrast to c- and L-myc IRESs, the N-myc IRES has a lesser requirement for a ternary complex.
Project description:Resistance of translation of some eukaryotic messenger RNAs (mRNAs) to inactivation of the cap-binding factor eIF4E under unfavorable conditions is well documented. To date, it is the mechanism of internal ribosome entry that is predominantly thought to underlay this stress tolerance. However, many cellular mRNAs that had been considered to contain internal ribosome entry sites (IRESs) failed to pass stringent control tests for internal initiation, thus raising the question of how they are translated under stress conditions. Here, we show that inserting an eIF4G-binding element from a virus IRES into 5'-UTRs of strongly cap-dependent mRNAs dramatically reduces their requirement for the 5'-terminal m(7)G-cap, though such cap-independent translation remains dependent on a vacant 5'-terminus of these mRNAs. Importantly, direct binding of eIF4G to the 5'-UTR of mRNA makes its translation resistant to eIF4F inactivation both in vitro and in vivo. These data may substantiate a new paradigm of translational control under stress to complement IRES-driven mechanism of translation.
Project description:A number of viral proteases are able to cleave translation initiation factors leading to the inhibition of cellular translation. This is the case of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 protease (HIV-1 PR), which hydrolyzes eIF4GI and poly(A)-binding protein (PABP). Here, the effect of HIV-1 PR on cellular and viral protein synthesis has been examined using cell-free systems. HIV-1 PR strongly hampers translation of pre-existing capped luc mRNAs, particularly when these mRNAs contain a poly(A) tail. In fact, HIV-1 PR efficiently blocks cap- and poly(A)-dependent translation initiation in HeLa extracts. Addition of exogenous PABP to HIV-1 PR treated extracts partially restores the translation of polyadenylated luc mRNAs, suggesting that PABP cleavage is directly involved in the inhibition of poly(A)-dependent translation. In contrast to these data, PABP cleavage induced by HIV-1 PR has little impact on the translation of polyadenylated encephalomyocarditis virus internal ribosome entry site (IRES)-containing mRNAs. In this case, the loss of poly(A)-dependent translation is compensated by the IRES transactivation provided by eIF4G cleavage. Finally, translation of capped and polyadenylated HIV-1 genomic mRNA takes place in HeLa extracts when eIF4GI and PABP have been cleaved by HIV-1 PR. Together these results suggest that proteolytic cleavage of eIF4GI and PABP by HIV-1 PR blocks cap- and poly(A)-dependent initiation of translation, leading to the inhibition of cellular protein synthesis. However, HIV-1 genomic mRNA can be translated under these conditions, giving rise to the production of Gag polyprotein.
Project description:Picornavirus mRNAs contain IRESs that sustain their translation during infection, when host protein synthesis is shut off. The major classes of picornavirus IRESs (Types 1 and 2) have distinct structures and sequences, but initiation on both is determined by their specific interaction with eIF4G. We report here that Aichivirus (AV), a member of the Kobuvirus genus of Picornaviridae, contains an IRES that differs structurally from Type 1 and Type 2 IRESs. Its function similarly involves interaction with eIF4G, but its eIF4G-interacting domain is structurally distinct, although it contains an apical eIF4G-interacting motif similar to that in Type 2 IRESs. Like Type 1 and Type 2 IRESs, AV IRES function is enhanced by pyrimidine tract-binding protein (PTB), but the pattern of PTB's interaction with each of these IRESs is distinct. Unlike all known IRESs, the AV IRES is absolutely dependent on DHX29, a requirement imposed by sequestration of its initiation codon in a stable hairpin.
Project description:Translation of m7G-capped cellular mRNAs is initiated by recruitment of ribosomes to the 5' end of mRNAs via eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4F (eIF4F), a heterotrimeric complex comprised of a cap-binding subunit (eIF4E) and an RNA helicase (eIF4A) bridged by a scaffolding molecule (eIF4G). Internal translation initiation bypasses the requirement for the cap and eIF4E and occurs on viral and cellular mRNAs containing internal ribosomal entry sites (IRESs). Here we demonstrate that eIF4E availability plays a critical role in the switch from cap-dependent to IRES-mediated translation in picornavirus-infected cells. When both capped and IRES-containing mRNAs are present (as in intact cells or in vitro translation extracts), a decrease in the amount of eIF4E associated with the eIF4F complex elicits a striking increase in IRES-mediated viral mRNA translation. This effect is not observed in translation extracts depleted of capped mRNAs, indicating that capped mRNAs compete with IRES-containing mRNAs for translation. These data explain numerous reported observations where viral mRNAs are preferentially translated during infection.
Project description:Initiation of translation of the proto-oncogene c-myc can occur by either the cap-dependent scanning mechanism or by internal ribosome entry. The latter mechanism requires a complex RNA structural element that is located in the 5' untranslated region of c-myc, termed an internal ribosome entry segment (IRES). Recent work has shown that IRESs are used to maintain protein expression under conditions when cap-dependent translation initiation is compromised; for example, during mitosis, apoptosis and under conditions of cell stress, such as hypoxia or heat shock. Induction of genotoxic stress also results in a large reduction in global protein synthesis rates and therefore we investigated whether the c-myc IRES was active following DNA damage. As expected, in cells treated with either ethylmethane sulphonate or mitomycin C there was a large reduction in protein synthesis, although this was brought about by two different mechanisms. However, in each case the c-myc IRES was active and c-Myc protein expression was maintained. Finally we showed that the proteins required for this process are downstream of the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/extracellular-signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK)/MEK(MAPK/ERK kinase) signalling pathways, since pre-treatment of cells with inhibitors of these pathways before DNA damage is initiated inhibits both c-myc IRES activity and expression of c-Myc protein.
Project description:Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4GI (eIF4GI) is an essential protein that is the target for translational regulation in many cellular processes and viral systems. It has been shown to function in both cap-dependent and cap-independent translation initiation by recruiting the 40S ribosomal subunit to the mRNA cap structure or internal ribosome entry site (IRES) element, respectively. Interestingly eIF4GI mRNA itself has been reported to contain an IRES element in its 5' end that facilitates eIF4GI protein synthesis via a cap-independent mechanism. In HeLa cells, eIF4GI exists as several isoforms that differ in their migration in sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) gels; however, the nature of these isoforms was unclear. Here, we report a new cDNA clone for eIF4GI that extends the 5' sequence 340 nucleotides beyond the previously published sequence. The new extended sequence of eIF4GI is located on chromosome 3, within two additional exons immediately upstream of the previously published eIF4GI sequence. When mRNA transcribed from this cDNA clone was translated in vitro, five eIF4GI polypeptides were generated that comigrated in SDS-polyacrylamide gels with the five isoforms of native eIF4GI. Furthermore, translation of eIF4GI-enhanced green fluorescent protein fusion constructs in vitro or in vivo generated five isoforms of fusion polypeptides, suggesting that multiple isoforms of eIF4GI are generated by alternative translation initiation in vitro and in vivo. Mutation of two of the five in-frame AUG residues in the eIF4GI cDNA sequence resulted in loss of corresponding polypeptides after translation in vitro, confirming alternate use of AUGs as the source of the multiple polypeptides. The 5' untranslated region of eIF4GI mRNA also contains an out-of-frame open reading frame (ORF) that may down-regulate expression of eIF4GI. Further, data are presented to suggest that a proposed IRES embedded in the eIF4GI ORF is able to catalyze synthesis of multiple eIF4GI isoforms as well. Our data suggest that expression of the eIF4GI isoforms is partly controlled by a complex translation strategy involving both cap-dependent and cap-independent mechanisms.
Project description:Many viruses bypass canonical cap-dependent translation in host cells by using internal ribosomal entry sites (IRESs) in their transcripts; IRESs hijack initiation factors for the assembly of initiation complexes. However, it is currently unknown how IRES RNAs recognize initiation factors that have no endogenous RNA binding partners; in a prominent example, the IRES of encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) interacts with the HEAT-1 domain of eukaryotic initiation factor 4G (eIF4G). Here we report the solution structure of the J-K region of this IRES and show that its stems are precisely organized to position protein-recognition bulges. This multisite interaction mechanism operates on an all-or-nothing principle in which all domains are required. This preorganization is accomplished by an 'adjuster module': a pentaloop motif that acts as a dual-sided docking station for base-pair receptors. Because subtle changes in the orientation abrogate protein capture, our study highlights how a viral RNA acquires affinity for a target protein.