Journal of Molecular Medicine

, Volume 81, Issue 9, pp 536–548

Not just for housekeeping: protein initiation and elongation factors in cell growth and tumorigenesis

Authors

  • Sarah Thornton
    • Hamilton Regional Cancer Centre
  • Nisha Anand
    • Hamilton Regional Cancer Centre
  • Dan Purcell
    • Hamilton Regional Cancer Centre
    • Hamilton Regional Cancer Centre
    • Department of Pathology and Molecular MedicineMcMaster University
Invited Review

DOI: 10.1007/s00109-003-0461-8

Cite this article as:
Thornton, S., Anand, N., Purcell, D. et al. J Mol Med (2003) 81: 536. doi:10.1007/s00109-003-0461-8

Abstract

Proteins provide the structural framework of a cell and perform the enzymatic activities sustaining DNA replication and energy production. The hormones and growth factors that facilitate organ-to-organ communication are proteins as are the receptors and signaling intermediaries that integrate extracellular stimuli to intracellular action. As such, eukaryotic cells devote tremendous effort and energy to protein synthesis. The enzymes involved in protein synthesis have traditionally been described as cellular housekeepers. This was meant to imply that while they were necessary for cell viability, they were not thought to have a causal role in activating cell differentiation or neoplastic development the way that a transcription factor or hormone receptor might. However, two protein translation factors, protein initiation factor eIF4E and protein elongation factor eEF1A2, have been identified as important human oncogenes. This review summarizes recent work showing that protein initiation and elongation factors have important regulatory roles in cell growth, apoptosis, and tumorigenesis.

Keywords

CancerProtein translationProtein elongationApoptosisOncogene

Abbreviations

eEF

Eukaryotic elongation factor

eIF1

Eukaryotic initiation factor

eRF

Eukaryotic release factor

PKC

Protein kinase C

PMA

Phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate

PTI

Prostate tumor inducing

UTR

Untranslated region

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003