EIF4E-Dependent Translational Control: A Central Mechanism for Regulation of Pain Plasticity.
ABSTRACT: Translational control of gene expression has emerged as a key mechanism in regulating different forms of long-lasting neuronal plasticity. Maladaptive plastic reorganization of peripheral and spinal nociceptive circuits underlies many chronic pain states and relies on new gene expression. Accordingly, downregulation of mRNA translation in primary afferents and spinal dorsal horn neurons inhibits tissue injury-induced sensitization of nociceptive pathways, supporting a central role for translation dysregulation in the development of persistent pain. Translation is primarily regulated at the initiation stage via the coordinated activity of translation initiation factors. The mRNA cap-binding protein, eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E), is involved in the recruitment of the ribosome to the mRNA cap structure, playing a central role in the regulation of translation initiation. eIF4E integrates inputs from the mTOR and ERK signaling pathways, both of which are activated in numerous painful conditions to regulate the translation of a subset of mRNAs. Many of these mRNAs are involved in the control of cell growth, proliferation, and neuroplasticity. However, the full repertoire of eIF4E-dependent mRNAs in the nervous system and their translation regulatory mechanisms remain largely unknown. In this review, we summarize the current evidence for the role of eIF4E-dependent translational control in the sensitization of pain circuits and present pharmacological approaches to target these mechanisms. Understanding eIF4E-dependent translational control mechanisms and their roles in aberrant plasticity of nociceptive circuits might reveal novel therapeutic targets to treat persistent pain states.
Project description:Protein synthesis involves the translation of ribonucleic acid information into proteins, the building blocks of life. The initial step of protein synthesis is the binding of the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) to the 7-methylguanosine (m(7)-GpppG) 5'?cap of messenger RNAs. Low oxygen tension (hypoxia) represses cap-mediated translation by sequestering eIF4E through mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)-dependent mechanisms. Although the internal ribosome entry site is an alternative translation initiation mechanism, this pathway alone cannot account for the translational capacity of hypoxic cells. This raises a fundamental question in biology as to how proteins are synthesized in periods of oxygen scarcity and eIF4E inhibition. Here we describe an oxygen-regulated translation initiation complex that mediates selective cap-dependent protein synthesis. We show that hypoxia stimulates the formation of a complex that includes the oxygen-regulated hypoxia-inducible factor 2? (HIF-2?), the RNA-binding protein RBM4 and the cap-binding eIF4E2, an eIF4E homologue. Photoactivatable ribonucleoside-enhanced crosslinking and immunoprecipitation (PAR-CLIP) analysis identified an RNA hypoxia response element (rHRE) that recruits this complex to a wide array of mRNAs, including that encoding the epidermal growth factor receptor. Once assembled at the rHRE, the HIF-2?-RBM4-eIF4E2 complex captures the 5'?cap and targets mRNAs to polysomes for active translation, thereby evading hypoxia-induced repression of protein synthesis. These findings demonstrate that cells have evolved a program by which oxygen tension switches the basic translation initiation machinery.
Project description:Eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) has long been known as the cap-binding protein that participates in recruitment of mRNA to the ribosome. A number of recent advances have not only increased our understanding of how eIF4E acts in translation but also uncovered non-translational roles. New structures have been determined for eIF4E in complex with various ligands and for other cap-binding proteins. We have also learned that most eukaryotic organisms express multiple eIF4E family members, some involved in general translation but others having specialized functions, including repression of translation. A number of new eIF4E-binding proteins have been reported, some of which tether it to specific mRNAs.
Project description:Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) in mammalian cells is restricted to newly synthesized mRNA that is bound at the 5' cap by the major nuclear cap-binding complex and at splicing-generated exon-exon junctions by exon junction complexes. This messenger ribonucleoprotein has been called the pioneer translation initiation complex and, accordingly, NMD occurs as a consequence of nonsense codon recognition during a pioneer round of translation. Here, we characterize the nature of messenger ribonucleoprotein that is targeted for NMD in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Data indicate that NMD targets both cap-binding complex (Cbc)1p- and eukaryotic translation initiation factor (eIF)4E-bound mRNAs, unlike in mammalian cells, where NMD does not detectably target eIF4E-bound mRNA. First, intron-containing pre-mRNAs in yeast are detectably bound by either Cbc1p, or, unlike in mammalian cells, eIF4E, indicating that mRNAs can be derived from either Cbc1p- or eIF4E-bound pre-mRNAs. Second, the ratio of nonsense-containing Cbc1p-bound mRNA to nonsense-free Cbc1p-bound mRNA, which was < 0.4 for those mRNAs tested here, is essentially identical to the ratio of the corresponding nonsense-containing eIF4E-bound mRNA to nonsense-free eIF4E-bound mRNA, and both ratios increase in cells treated with the translational inhibitor cycloheximide (CHX). These data, together with data presented here and elsewhere showing that Cbc1p-bound transcripts are precursors to eIF4E-bound transcripts, demonstrate that Cbc1p-bound mRNA is targeted for NMD. In support of the idea that eIF4E-bound mRNA is also targeted for NMD, eIF4E-bound mRNA is targeted for NMD in strains that lack Cbc1p. These results suggest that both Cbc1p- and eIF4E-mediated pioneer rounds of translation occur in yeast.
Project description:Translation is a fundamental step in gene expression, and translational control is exerted in many developmental processes. Most eukaryotic mRNAs are translated by a cap-dependent mechanism, which requires recognition of the 5'-cap structure of the mRNA by eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E). eIF4E activity is controlled by eIF4E-binding proteins (4E-BPs), which by competing with eIF4G for eIF4E binding act as translational repressors. Here, we report the discovery of Mextli (Mxt), a novel Drosophila melanogaster 4E-BP that in sharp contrast to other 4E-BPs, has a modular structure, binds RNA, eIF3, and several eIF4Es, and promotes translation. Mxt is expressed at high levels in ovarian germ line stem cells (GSCs) and early-stage cystocytes, as is eIF4E-1, and we demonstrate the two proteins interact in these cells. Phenotypic analysis of mxt mutants indicates a role for Mxt in germ line stem cell (GSC) maintenance and in early embryogenesis. Our results support the idea that Mxt, like eIF4G, coordinates the assembly of translation initiation complexes, rendering Mxt the first example of evolutionary convergence of eIF4G function.
Project description:Eukaryotic mRNAs contain a 5? cap structure that is crucial for recruitment of the translation machinery and initiation of protein synthesis. mRNA recognition is thought to require direct interactions between eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) and the mRNA cap. However, translation of numerous capped mRNAs remains robust during cellular stress, early development, and cell cycle progression despite inactivation of eIF4E. Here we describe a cap-dependent pathway of translation initiation in human cells that relies on a previously unknown cap-binding activity of eIF3d, a subunit of the 800-kilodalton eIF3 complex. A 1.4?Å crystal structure of the eIF3d cap-binding domain reveals unexpected homology to endonucleases involved in RNA turnover, and allows modelling of cap recognition by eIF3d. eIF3d makes specific contacts with the cap, as exemplified by cap analogue competition, and these interactions are essential for assembly of translation initiation complexes on eIF3-specialized mRNAs such as the cell proliferation regulator c-Jun (also known as JUN). The c-Jun mRNA further encodes an inhibitory RNA element that blocks eIF4E recruitment, thus enforcing alternative cap recognition by eIF3d. Our results reveal a mechanism of cap-dependent translation that is independent of eIF4E, and illustrate how modular RNA elements work together to direct specialized forms of translation initiation.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play critical roles in a broad variety of biological processes by inhibiting translation initiation and by destabilizing target mRNAs. The CCR4-NOT complex effects miRNA-mediated silencing, at least in part through interactions with 4E-T (eIF4E transporter) protein, but the precise mechanism is unknown. Here we show that the cap-binding eIF4E-homologous protein 4EHP is an integral component of the miRNA-mediated silencing machinery. We demonstrate that the cap-binding activity of 4EHP contributes to the translational silencing by miRNAs through the CCR4-NOT complex. Our results show that 4EHP competes with eIF4E for binding to 4E-T, and this interaction increases the affinity of 4EHP for the cap. We propose a model wherein the 4E-T/4EHP interaction engenders a closed-loop mRNA conformation that blocks translational initiation of miRNA targets.
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:Eukaryotic initiation factor eIF4E performs a key early step in translation by specifically recognizing the m?GpppN cap structure at the 5' end of cellular mRNAs. Many viral mRNAs lack a 5' cap and thus bypass eIF4E. In contrast, we reported a cap-independent translation element (PTE) in Pea enation mosaic virus RNA2 that binds and requires eIF4E for translation initiation. To understand how this uncapped RNA is bound tightly by eIF4E, we employ SHAPE probing, phylogenetic comparisons with new PTEs discovered in panico- and carmoviruses, footprinting of the eIF4E binding site, and 3D RNA modeling using NAST, MC-Fold, and MC-Sym to predict a compact, 3D structure of the RNA. We propose that the cap-binding pocket of eIF4E clamps around a pseudoknot, placing a highly SHAPE-reactive guanosine in the pocket in place of the normal m?GpppN cap. This reveals a new mechanism of mRNA recognition by eIF4E.
Project description:Elevated eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) levels frequently occur in a variety of human cancers. Overexpression of eIF4E promotes cellular transformation by selectively increasing the translation of proliferative and prosurvival mRNAs. These mRNAs possess highly structured 5'-UTRs that impede ribosome recruitment and scanning, yet the mechanism for how eIF4E abundance elevates their translation is not easily explained by its cap-binding activity. Here, we show that eIF4E possesses an unexpected second function in translation initiation by strongly stimulating eukaryotic initiation factor 4A (eIF4A) helicase activity. Importantly, we demonstrate that this activity promotes mRNA restructuring in a manner that is independent of its cap-binding function. To explain these findings, we show that the eIF4E-binding site in eukaryotic initiation factor 4G (eIF4G) functions as an autoinhibitory domain to modulate its ability to stimulate eIF4A helicase activity. Binding of eIF4E counteracts this autoinhibition, enabling eIF4G to stimulate eIF4A helicase activity. Finally, we have successfully separated the two functions of eIF4E to show that its helicase promoting activity increases the rate of translation by a mechanism that is distinct from its cap-binding function. Based on our results, we propose that maintaining a connection between eIF4E and eIF4G throughout scanning provides a plausible mechanism to explain how eIF4E abundance selectively stimulates the translation of highly structured proliferation and tumor-promoting mRNAs.
Project description:Initiation is a highly regulated rate-limiting step of mRNA translation. During cap-dependent translation, the cap-binding protein eIF4E recruits the mRNA to the ribosome. Specific elements in the 5'UTR of some mRNAs referred to as Internal Ribosome Entry Sites (IRESes) allow direct association of the mRNA with the ribosome without the requirement for eIF4E. Cap-independent initiation permits translation of a subset of cellular and viral mRNAs under conditions wherein cap-dependent translation is inhibited, such as stress, mitosis and viral infection. DAP5 is an eIF4G homolog that has been proposed to regulate both cap-dependent and cap-independent translation. Herein, we demonstrate that DAP5 associates with eIF2? and eIF4AI to stimulate IRES-dependent translation of cellular mRNAs. In contrast, DAP5 is dispensable for cap-dependent translation. These findings provide the first mechanistic insights into the function of DAP5 as a selective regulator of cap-independent translation.