Activation of p53 stimulates proteasome-dependent truncation of elF4E-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1)

Constantina Constantinou, Androulla Elia, Michael J. Clemens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Background information. The translational inhibitor protein 4E-BP1 [eIF4E (eukaryotic initiation factor 4E)-binding protein 1] regulates the availability of polypeptide chain initiation factor eIF4E for protein synthesis. Initiation factor eIF4E binds the 5′ cap structure present on all cellular mRNAs. Its ability to associate with initiation factors eIF4G and eIF4A, forming the eIF4F complex, brings the mRNA to the 43S complex during the initiation of translation. Binding of eIF4E to eIF4G is inhibited in a competitive manner by 4E-BP1. Phosphorylation of 4E-BP1 decreases the affinity of this protein for eIF4E, thus favouring the binding of eIF4G and enhancing translation. We have previously shown that induction or activation of the tumour suppressor protein p53 rapidly leads to 4E-BP1 dephosphorylation, resulting in sequestration of eIF4E, decreased formation of the eIF4F complex and inhibition of protein synthesis. Results. We now report that activation of p53 also results in modification of 4E-BP1 to a truncated form. Unlike full-length 4E-BP1, which is reversibly phosphorylated at multiple sites, the truncated protein is almost completely unphosphorylated. Moreover, the latter interacts with eIF4E in preference to full-length 4E-BP1. Inhibitor studies indicate that the p53-induced cleavage of 4E-BP1 is mediated by the proteasome and is blocked by conditions that inhibit the dephosphorylation of full-length 4E-BP1. Measurements of the turnover of 4E-BP1 indicate that the truncated form is much more stable than the full-length protein. Conclusions. The results suggest a model in which proteasome activity gives rise to a stable, hypophosphorylated and truncated form of 4E-BP1, which may exert a long-term inhibitory effect on the availability of eIF4E, thus contributing to the inhibition of protein synthesis and the growth-inhibitory and pro-apoptotic effects of p53.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-289
Number of pages11
JournalBiology of the Cell
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2008


  • elF4E-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1)
  • Eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (elF4E)
  • p53
  • Proteasome
  • Protein phosphorylation
  • Translation


Dive into the research topics of 'Activation of p53 stimulates proteasome-dependent truncation of elF4E-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this