Pancreatic eukaryotic initiation factor-2α kinase (PEK) homologues in humans, Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans that mediate translational control in response to endoplasmic reticulum stress

Ruchira Sood, Amy C. Porter, Kun Ma, Lawrence A. Quilliam, Ronald C. Wek

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120 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In response to different cellular stresses, a family of protein kinases regulates translation by phosphorylation of the α subunit of eukaryotic initiation factor-2 (eIF-2α). Recently, we identified a new family member, pancreatic eIF-2α kinase (PEK) from rat pancreas. PEK, also referred to as RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR)-like endoplasmic reticulum (ER) kinase (PERK) is a transmembrane protein implicated in translational control in response to stresses that impair protein folding in the ER. In this study, we identified and characterized PEK homologues from humans, Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans. Expression of human PEK mRNA was found in over 50 different tissues examined, with highest levels in secretory tissues. In mammalian cells subjected to ER stress, we found that elevated eIF-2α phosphorylation was coincident with increased PEK autophosphorylation and eIF-2α kinase activity. Activation of PEK was abolished by deletion of PEK N-terminal sequences located in the ER lumen. To address the role of C. elegans PEK in translational control, we expressed this kinase in yeast and found that it inhibits growth by hyperphosphorylation of eIF-2α and inhibition of eIF-2B. Furthermore, we found that vaccinia virus K3L protein, an inhibitor of the eIF-2α kinase PKR involved in an anti-viral defence pathway, also reduced PEK activity. These results suggest that decreased translation initiation by PEK during ER stress may provide the cell with an opportunity to remedy the folding problem prior to introducing newly synthesized proteins into the secretory pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-293
Number of pages13
JournalBiochemical Journal
Volume346
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2000

Fingerprint

Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-2
eIF-2 Kinase
Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress
Caenorhabditis elegans
Drosophila melanogaster
Phosphotransferases
Endoplasmic Reticulum
Phosphorylation
Tissue
Protein folding
Secretory Pathway
Protein Folding
Heat-Shock Proteins
Yeast
Protein Kinases
Rats
Pancreas

Keywords

  • eIF-2α
  • ER stress
  • Protein kinase
  • Protein synthesis
  • Translation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

Cite this

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title = "Pancreatic eukaryotic initiation factor-2α kinase (PEK) homologues in humans, Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans that mediate translational control in response to endoplasmic reticulum stress",
abstract = "In response to different cellular stresses, a family of protein kinases regulates translation by phosphorylation of the α subunit of eukaryotic initiation factor-2 (eIF-2α). Recently, we identified a new family member, pancreatic eIF-2α kinase (PEK) from rat pancreas. PEK, also referred to as RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR)-like endoplasmic reticulum (ER) kinase (PERK) is a transmembrane protein implicated in translational control in response to stresses that impair protein folding in the ER. In this study, we identified and characterized PEK homologues from humans, Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans. Expression of human PEK mRNA was found in over 50 different tissues examined, with highest levels in secretory tissues. In mammalian cells subjected to ER stress, we found that elevated eIF-2α phosphorylation was coincident with increased PEK autophosphorylation and eIF-2α kinase activity. Activation of PEK was abolished by deletion of PEK N-terminal sequences located in the ER lumen. To address the role of C. elegans PEK in translational control, we expressed this kinase in yeast and found that it inhibits growth by hyperphosphorylation of eIF-2α and inhibition of eIF-2B. Furthermore, we found that vaccinia virus K3L protein, an inhibitor of the eIF-2α kinase PKR involved in an anti-viral defence pathway, also reduced PEK activity. These results suggest that decreased translation initiation by PEK during ER stress may provide the cell with an opportunity to remedy the folding problem prior to introducing newly synthesized proteins into the secretory pathway.",
keywords = "eIF-2α, ER stress, Protein kinase, Protein synthesis, Translation",
author = "Ruchira Sood and Porter, {Amy C.} and Kun Ma and Quilliam, {Lawrence A.} and Wek, {Ronald C.}",
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T1 - Pancreatic eukaryotic initiation factor-2α kinase (PEK) homologues in humans, Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans that mediate translational control in response to endoplasmic reticulum stress

AU - Sood, Ruchira

AU - Porter, Amy C.

AU - Ma, Kun

AU - Quilliam, Lawrence A.

AU - Wek, Ronald C.

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