Exaggerated translation causes synaptic and behavioural aberrations associated with autism.
ABSTRACT Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are an early onset, heterogeneous group of heritable neuropsychiatric disorders with symptoms that include deficits in social interaction skills, impaired communication abilities, and ritualistic-like repetitive behaviours. One of the hypotheses for a common molecular mechanism underlying ASDs is altered translational control resulting in exaggerated protein synthesis. Genetic variants in chromosome 4q, which contains the EIF4E locus, have been described in patients with autism. Importantly, a rare single nucleotide polymorphism has been identified in autism that is associated with increased promoter activity in the EIF4E gene. Here we show that genetically increasing the levels of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) in mice results in exaggerated cap-dependent translation and aberrant behaviours reminiscent of autism, including repetitive and perseverative behaviours and social interaction deficits. Moreover, these autistic-like behaviours are accompanied by synaptic pathophysiology in the medial prefrontal cortex, striatum and hippocampus. The autistic-like behaviours displayed by the eIF4E-transgenic mice are corrected by intracerebroventricular infusions of the cap-dependent translation inhibitor 4EGI-1. Our findings demonstrate a causal relationship between exaggerated cap-dependent translation, synaptic dysfunction and aberrant behaviours associated with autism.
SourceAvailable from: Darius Ebrahimi-Fakhari[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Recent studies have implicated hundreds of genetic variants in the cause of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Genes involved in 'monogenic' forms of syndromic ASD converge on common pathways that are involved in synaptic development, plasticity and signaling. In this review, we discuss how these 'developmental synaptopathies' inform our understanding of the molecular disease in ASD and highlight promising approaches that have bridged the gap between the bench and the clinic. Accumulating evidence suggests that synaptic deficits in syndromic and nonsyndromic ASD can be mapped to gene mutations in pathways that control synaptic protein synthesis and degradation with postsynaptic scaffold architecture and neurotransmitter receptors. This is recapitulated in models of Fragile X syndrome (FXS), Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), Angelman syndrome and Phelan-McDermid syndrome (PMS), all of which cause syndromic ASD. Important recent advances include the development of mouse models and patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines that enable a detailed investigation of synaptic deficits and the identification of potential targets for therapy. Examples of the latter include mGluR5 antagonists in FXS, mTOR inhibitors in TSC and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in PMS. Identifying converging pathways in syndromic forms of ASD will uncover novel therapeutic targets for non-syndromic ASD. Insights into developmental synaptopathies will lead to rational development of mechanism-based therapies and clinical trials that may provide a blueprint for other common pathways implicated in the molecular neuropathology of ASD.Current Opinion in Neurology 02/2015; DOI:10.1097/WCO.0000000000000186 · 5.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cap-dependent translation is a potential cancer-related target (oncotarget) due to its critical role in cancer initiation and progression. 4EGI-1, an inhibitor of eIF4E/eIF4G interaction, was discovered by screening chemical libraries of small molecules. 4EGI-1 inhibits cap-dependent translation initiation by impairing the assembly of the eIF4E/eIF4G complex, and therefore is a potential anti-cancer agent. Here, we report that 4EGI-1 also inhibits mTORC1 signaling independent of its inhibitory role on cap-dependent translation initiation. The inhibition of mTORC1 signaling by 4EGI-1 activates Akt due to both abrogation of the negative feedback loops from mTORC1 to PI3K and activation of mTORC2. We further validated that mTORC2 activity is required for 4EGI-1-mediated Akt activation. The activated Akt counteracted the anticancer effects of 4EGI-1. In support of this model, inhibition of Akt potentiates the antitumor activity of 4EGI-1 both in vitro and in a xenograft mouse model in vivo. Our results suggest that a combination of 4EGI-1and Akt inhibitor is a rational approach for the treatment of cancer.Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 01/2015; 14(2):232-42. DOI:10.4161/15384101.2014.977096 · 5.01 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although the MAP kinase-interacting kinases (MNKs) have been known for >15 years, their roles in the regulation of protein synthesis have remained obscure. Here, we explore the involvement of the MNKs in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-stimulated protein synthesis in cortical neurons from mice. Using a combination of pharmacological and genetic approaches, we show that BDNF-induced upregulation of protein synthesis requires MEK/ERK signaling and the downstream kinase, MNK1, which phosphorylates eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF) 4E. Translation initiation is mediated by the interaction of eIF4E with the m(7)GTP cap of mRNA and with eIF4G. The latter interaction is inhibited by the interactions of eIF4E with partner proteins, such as CYFIP1, which acts as a translational repressor. We find that BDNF induces the release of CYFIP1 from eIF4E, and that this depends on MNK1. Finally, using a novel combination of BONCAT and SILAC, we identify a subset of proteins whose synthesis is upregulated by BDNF signaling via MNK1 in neurons. Interestingly, this subset of MNK1-sensitive proteins is enriched for functions involved in neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity. Additionally, we find significant overlap between our subset of proteins whose synthesis is regulated by MNK1 and those encoded by known FMRP-binding mRNAs. Together, our data implicate MNK1 as a key component of BDNF-mediated translational regulation in neurons. Copyright © 2015 Genheden et al.The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 01/2015; 35(3):972-84. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2641-14.2015 · 6.75 Impact Factor