Sensitivity of Global Translation to mTOR Inhibition in REN Cells Depends on the Equilibrium between eIF4E and 4E-BP1

Molecular Histology and Cell Growth, DIBIT-HSR, Milan, Italy.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 12/2011; 6(12):e29136. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0029136
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Initiation is the rate-limiting phase of protein synthesis, controlled by signaling pathways regulating the phosphorylation of translation factors. Initiation has three steps, 43S, 48S and 80S formation. 43S formation is repressed by eIF2α phosphorylation. The subsequent steps, 48S and 80S formation are enabled by growth factors. 48S relies on eIF4E-mediated assembly of eIF4F complex; 4E-BPs competitively displace eIF4E from eIF4F. Two pathways control eIF4F: 1) mTORc1 phosphorylates and inactivates 4E-BPs, leading to eIF4F formation; 2) the Ras-Mnk cascade phosphorylates eIF4E. We show that REN and NCI-H28 mesothelioma cells have constitutive activation of both pathways and maximal translation rate, in the absence of exogenous growth factors. Translation is rapidly abrogated by phosphorylation of eIF2α. Surprisingly, pharmacological inhibition of mTORc1 leads to the complete dephosphorylation of downstream targets, without changes in methionine incorporation. In addition, the combined administration of mTORc1 and MAPK/Mnk inhibitors has no additive effect. The inhibition of both mTORc1 and mTORc2 does not affect the metabolic rate. In spite of this, mTORc1 inhibition reduces eIF4F complex formation, and depresses translocation of TOP mRNAs on polysomes. Downregulation of eIF4E and overexpression of 4E-BP1 induce rapamycin sensitivity, suggesting that disruption of eIF4F complex, due to eIF4E modulation, competes with its recycling to ribosomes. These data suggest the existence of a dynamic equilibrium in which eIF4F is not essential for all mRNAs and is not displaced from translated mRNAs, before recycling to the next.

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    • "In addition to the 4E-BPs, substrates for the mTOR complexes include the protein kinases p70S6 kinase [18] and Akt/protein kinase B [19]. Although these regulatory mechanisms are well understood it has been somewhat puzzling that inhibition of mTOR activity, which leads to the dephosphorylation of the 4E-BPs and marked inhibition of eIF4F assembly, often has little or no effect on the rate of overall protein synthesis in mammalian cells [20]. A possible interpretation of these observations is that, under optimal conditions, there is little requirement for cap binding by the eIF4F complex for the continuing translation of the majority of mRNAs. "
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    ABSTRACT: The protein kinase mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) regulates the phosphorylation and activity of several proteins that have the potential to control translation, including p70S6 kinase and the eIF4E binding proteins 4E-BP1 and 4E-BP2. In spite of this, in exponentially growing cells overall protein synthesis is often resistant to mTOR inhibitors. We report here that sensitivity of wild-type mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) to mTOR inhibitors can be greatly increased when the cells are subjected to the physiological stress imposed by hypertonic conditions. In contrast, protein synthesis in MEFs with a double knockout of 4E-BP1 and 4E-BP2 remains resistant to mTOR inhibitors under these conditions. Phosphorylation of p70S6 kinase and protein kinase B (Akt) is blocked by the mTOR inhibitor Ku0063794 equally well in both wild-type and 4E-BP knockout cells, under both normal and hypertonic conditions. The response of protein synthesis to hypertonic stress itself does not require the 4E-BPs. These data suggest that under certain stress conditions: (i) translation has a greater requirement for mTOR activity and (ii) there is an absolute requirement for the 4E-BPs for regulation by mTOR. Importantly, dephosphorylation of p70S6 kinase and Akt is not sufficient to affect protein synthesis acutely.
    PLoS ONE 08/2013; 8(8):e71138. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0071138 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 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 radio-resistance in tumor cells. However, whether stress granules formation involves oncogenic signaling pathways is currently unknown. Herein, we report a novel role of the mTORC1-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.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 04/2013; 33(11). DOI:10.1128/MCB.01517-12 · 4.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Gene expression is shaped by translational control. The modalities and the extent by which translation factors modify gene expression have revealed therapeutic scenarios. For instance, eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF)4E activity is controlled by the signaling cascade of growth factors, and drives tumorigenesis by favoring the translation of specific mRNAs. Highly specific drugs target the activity of eIF4E. Indeed, the antitumor action of mTOR complex 1 (mTORc1) blockers like rapamycin relies on their capability to inhibit eIF4E assembly into functional eIF4F complexes. eIF4E biology, from its inception to recent pharmacological targeting, is proof-of-principle that translational control is druggable. The case for eIF4E is not isolated. The translational machinery is involved in the biology of cancer through many other mechanisms. First, untranslated sequences on mRNAs as well as noncoding RNAs regulate the translational efficiency of mRNAs that are central for tumor progression. Second, other initiation factors like eIF6 show a tumorigenic potential by acting downstream of oncogenic pathways. Third, genetic alterations in components of the translational apparatus underlie an entire class of inherited syndromes known as 'ribosomopathies' that are associated with increased cancer risk. Taken together, data suggest that in spite of their evolutionary conservation and ubiquitous nature, variations in the activity and levels of ribosomal proteins and translation factors generate highly specific effects. Beside, as the structures and biochemical activities of several noncoding RNAs and initiation factors are known, these factors may be amenable to rational pharmacological targeting. The future is to design highly specific drugs targeting the translational apparatus.Oncogene advance online publication, 6 May 2013; doi:10.1038/onc.2013.153.
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