Protein Synthesis and Degradation
- The unfolded protein response (UPR) maintains protein homeostasis by governing the processing capacity of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to manage ER client loads; however, key regulators within the UPR remain to be identified. Activation of the UPR sensor PERK (EIFAK3/PEK) results in the phosphorylation of the α subunit of eIF2 (eIF2α-P), which represses translation initiation and reduces influx of newly synthesized proteins into the overloaded ER. As part of this adaptive response, eIF2α-P also induces a feedback mechanism through enhanced transcriptional and translational expression of Gadd34 (Ppp1r15A),which targets type 1 protein phosphatase for dephosphorylation of eIF2α-P to restore protein synthesis.
- In the integrated stress response, phosphorylation of eIF2α (eIF2α-P) reduces protein synthesis while concomitantly promoting preferential translation of specific transcripts associated with stress adaptation. Translation of the glutamyl-prolyl-tRNA synthetase gene EPRS is enhanced in response to eIF2α-P. To identify the underlying mechanism of translation control, we employed biochemical approaches to determine the regulatory features by which upstream ORFs (uORFs) direct downstream translation control and expression of the EPRS coding region.
- Upon exposure to environmental stress, phosphorylation of the α subunit of eIF2 (eIF2α-P) represses global protein synthesis, coincident with preferential translation of gene transcripts that mitigate stress damage or alternatively trigger apoptosis. Because there are multiple mammalian eIF2 kinases, each responding to different stress arrangements, this translational control scheme is referred to as the integrated stress response (ISR). Included among the preferentially translated mRNAs induced by eIF2α-P is that encoding the transcription factor CHOP (DDIT3/GADD153).
- Background: eIF2α-P induced GADD34 and constitutively expressed CReP target PP1c to dephosphorylate eIF2α-P to dictate translation control of the ISR.Results: Differential expression of GADD34 and CReP is regulated by upstream ORF (uORF)-mediated ribosome reinitiation.Conclusion: uORFs regulate differential expression of GADD34 and CReP and are important for cell adaptation to stress.Significance: Regulation of eIF2α-P is central for protein homeostasis and cell viability.