EIF3 p170, a mediator of mimosine effect on protein synthesis and cell cycle progression

Zizheng Dong, Jian Ting Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

82 Scopus citations


L-Mimosine, a plant amino acid, can reversibly block mammalian cells at late G1 phase and has been suggested to affect translation of mRNAs such as p27, the CDK inhibitor. However, the mechanism of this effect is not known. Regulation of translation generally occurs at the initiation step that, in mammalian cells, is a complex process that requires multiple eukaryotic initiation factors (eIFs) and ribosome. The effects of mimosine on initiation factors or regulators consequently will influence translation initiation. P170, a putative subunit of eIF3, has been suggested to be nonessential for eIF3 function to form preinitiation complexes and it may function as a regulator for translation of a subset of mRNAs. In this article, we tested this hypothesis and investigated whether eIF3 p170 mediates mimosine effect on mRNA translation. We found that p170 translation was dramatically reduced by mimosine due to its iron-chelating function. The decreased expression of p170 by mimosine caused diminished de novo synthesis of tyrosinated α-tubulin and elevated translation of p27 before cell cycle arrest. These observations suggest that p170 is likely an early response gene to mimosine treatment and a mediator for mimosine effect on mRNA translation. The effect of p170 on the synthesis of tyrosinated α-tubulin and p27 in a reciprocal manner also suggests that p170 functions as a regulator for mRNA translation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3942-3951
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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