Fan, S. et al. Phosphorylated eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4 (eIF4E) is elevated in human cancer tissues. Cancer Biol. Ther. 8, 1463-1469

Department of Hematology, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.
Cancer biology & therapy (Impact Factor: 3.07). 08/2009; 8(15):1463-9. DOI: 10.4161/cbt.8.15.8960
Source: PubMed


Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) is a rate-limiting factor for cap-dependent protein synthesis and is regulated by PI3 kinase/mTOR and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/Mnk signaling pathways. Recent studies have shown that Mnk-mediated eIF4E phosphorylation is absolutely required for eIF4E's oncogenic function. Overexpression of eIF4E has been reported in many types of cancers; however, the expression of phosphorylated eIF4E (p-eIF4E) in human cancer tissues, particularly solid tumor tissues, has not been reported. The current study focused on evaluating p-eIF4E expression patterns in the tumor tissues obtained from patients with a variety of malignancies. Using three different tissue microarrays consisting of a total of 380 cases of human cancers and 146 cases of adjacent normal tissues, we detected p-eIF4E positive staining in 63.4% (241/380) of cancers, but only in 30.1% (44/146) of adjacent normal tissues. Thus, p-eIF4E expression is significantly higher in cancers than in adjacent normal tissues (p < 0.001). In general, there was no major difference in p-eIF4E staining between cancers with and without lymph node metastasis. In certain types of maligancies such as lung, gastric and colorectal cancers, p-eIF4E staining was significantly higher in the early stage (T1) than in the late stage (T3) disease (p < 0.05). Collectively, these findings suggest that p-eIF4E may play a critical role in cancer development, particularly early stages of tumorigenesis and support p-eIF4E as a good cancer therapeutic target.

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    • "However these results are not likely to be due to an error in manipulation since a positive control, the pancreatic tissue [9], showed positive staining for this factor. In colorectal tissues, it was found that p-eIF4E positive staining rates increase during carcinogenesis but this was seen in only 37 out of 60 cases studied [23]. It is important to note here that even in the literature the role of the phosphorylation of eIF4E on Ser 209 is highly controversial with respect to the physiological role as well as its involvement in the oncogenic characteristics of eIF4E [24]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Cap dependent translation is mainly regulated at the level of the eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E), the activity of which is controlled by phosphorylation and sequestration by its well established regulator, 4E binding protein 1 (4E-BP1). Both eIF4E and 4E-BP1 have been shown to be involved in the malignant progression of multiple human cancers, including colorectal cancer. However, the data on determining the expression of eIF4E, 4E-BP1 and their phosphorylated forms simultaneously in a single patient with colorectal cancer is lacking. Therefore the aim of our study was to explore the roles of these factors in colorectal carcinogenesis by immunohistostaining colorectal tissues (normal, low grade adenoma, high grade adenoma, and adenocarcinoma). Our results showed that the expression levels of eIF4E increased steadily as the cancer progressed from the case of benign dysplasia to an adenocarcinoma; all the while maintaining an unphosphorylated form. On the other hand, total expression levels of 4E-BP1 increased only in the premalignant state of the disease and decreased (but highly phosphorylated or inactivated) or abolished upon malignancy. Taken together, our findings suggest that strong correlations exist between the expression of eIF4E (not p-eIF4E) and tumor grade providing evidence that eIF4E expression plays a pivotal role in the malignant progression of colorectal cancer. Moreover, 4E-BP1 showed a bi-phasic level of expression during carcinogenesis, which is expressed only in hyperplasic or dysplastic tissues as an endogenous tumor suppressor molecule.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · International journal of clinical and experimental pathology
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    • "Overexpression and/or increased phosphorylation of eIF4E, now considered to be a proto-oncogene, leads to overexpression of certain proto-oncogenes, growth factors, and other cell cycle–related protein transcripts, which promotes proliferation and survival rate of tumor cell and effectively regulates cellular transformation and metastasis [9], [20], [24], [26]–[27]. Some studies have shown that p-eIF4E and p-Mnk1 were respectively correlated with human carcinogenesis and development, and the inhibition of the Mnk1/eIF4E pathway acted as a potential therapeutic target [9]–[10], [13], [24], [27]–[31]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a head and neck malignant tumor rare throughout most of the world but common in Southeast Asia, especially in Southern China. The phosphorylation of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) by MAP kinase-interacting kinases (Mnk) on Ser-209 promotes cellular proliferation, survival, malignant transformation and metastasis. However, whether the alterations of the expression of p-eIF4E and p-Mnk1 protein are associated with clinicopathologic/prognostic implication for NPC has not been reported. The purposes of the present study are to examine the expression of p-eIF4E and p-Mnk1 protein in NPC and non-cancerous nasopharyngeal epithelial tissues by immunohistochemistry and evaluate the association between the expression of p-eIF4E and p-Mnk1 protein and clinicopathological characteristics of NPC. The results showed that the positive percentage of p-Mnk1 and p-eIF4E proteins expression in NPC (83.5% and 75.4%, respectively) was significantly higher than that in non-cancerous nasopharyngeal epithelium (40.0% and 32.9%, respectively). The positive expression of p-eIF4E and p-Mnk1 in the NPC with cervical lymph node metastasis was significantly higher than those without lymph node metastasis. Additionally, p-eIF4E expression was more pronouncedly increased in metastatic NPC than the matched primary NPC. Increase of p-eIF4E and p-Mnk1 expression was significantly correlated inversely with overall survival. Spearman's rank correlation test further showed that expression of p-Mnk1 was strongly positive correlated with expression of p-eIF4E in NPC. The expression of p-Mnk1 and p-eIF4E in NPC was proved to be the independent prognostic factors regardless of lymph node metastasis, clinical stages and combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, histological type, age and gender by multivariate analysis. Taken together, high expression of p-Mnk1 and p-eIF4E might be novel valuable biomarkers to predict poor prognosis of NPC and therapeutic targets for developing the valid treatment strategies.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    • "Further evidence supporting a role for eIF4E in malignancy has been provided by studies where expression of antisense RNA to eIF4E in HeLa cells suppressed proliferation and altered cellular morphology [23]. Antisense RNA-mediated reduction of eIF4E in breast, head and neck cancer cells was also shown to suppress tumour formation, growth and metastasis [24-29]. Elevated eIF4E accelerated lymphomagenesis and promoted drug resistance in a transgenic mouse model [30]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Deregulation of protein synthesis is a common event in human cancer and a key player in translational control is eIF4E. Elevated expression levels of eIF4E promote cancer development and progression. Recent findings suggest that eIF4E activity is a key determinant of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR and Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK mediated tumorigenic activity and targeting eIF4E should have a major impact on these pathways in human cancer. The function of eIF4E is modulated through phosphorylation of a conserved serine (Ser209) by Mnk1 and Mnk2 downstream of ERK. While the phosphorylation event is necessary for oncogenic transformation, it seems to be dispensable for normal development. Hence, pharmacologic Mnk inhibitors may provide non-toxic and effective anti-cancer strategy. Strong circumstantial evidence indicates that Mnk inhibition presents attractive therapeutic potential, but the lack of selective Mnk inhibitors has so far confounded pharmacological target validation and clinical development.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · Oncotarget
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