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Stress-induced inhibition of translation independently of eIF2α phosphorylation

Journal article
Authors Jon Halvor Knutsen
Gro Elise Rødland
Cathrine Arnason Bøe
Tine Weise Håland
Per Sunnerhagen
Beata Grallert
Erik Boye
Published in Journal of Cell Science
Volume 128
Issue 23
Pages 4420-4427
ISSN 0021-9533
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Pages 4420-4427
Language en
Subject categories Cell Biology


Exposure of fission yeast cells to ultraviolet (UV) light leads to inhibition of translation and phosphorylation of the eukaryotic initiation factor-2α (eIF2α). This phosphorylation is a common response to stress in all eukaryotes. It leads to inhibition of translation at the initiation stage and is thought to be the main reason why stressed cells dramatically reduce protein synthesis. Phosphorylation of eIF2α has been taken as a readout for downregulation of translation, but the role of eIF2α phosphorylation in the downregulation of general translation has not been much investigated. We show here that UVinduced global inhibition of translation in fission yeast cells is independent of eIF2α phosphorylation and the eIF2α kinase general control nonderepressible-2 protein (Gcn2). Also, in budding yeast and mammalian cells, the UV-induced translational depression is largely independent of GCN2 and eIF2α phosphorylation. Furthermore, exposure of fission yeast cells to oxidative stress generated by hydrogen peroxide induced an inhibition of translation that is also independent of Gcn2 and of eIF2α phosphorylation. Our findings show that stress-induced translational inhibition occurs through an unknown mechanism that is likely to be conserved through evolution.

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