Cellular and Molecular Biology



Homeodomain proteins and eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E): an unexpected relationship

I. Topisirovic and K.L.B. Borden

Institute of Research in Immunovirology and Cancer (IRIC), Université de Montréal, Pavillion Marcelle-Coutu, Chemin Polytechnique, Montreal, Qc, Canada

Offprint requests to: Dr. L.B. Borden, Institute of Research in Immunovirology and Cancer (IRIC), Université de Montreal, Pavillion Marcelle-Coutu, 2950, chemin Polytechnique, Montreal, Qc, Canada H3T1J4. e-mail: Katherine.Borden@umontreal.ca

Summary. The central role of post-transcriptional modification of the expression of several genes involved in tumorigenesis implicates eIF4E as a pivotal factor in the regulation of cell survival, growth and proliferation. Overexpression of eIF4E leads to malignant transformation in vitro and induces tumor formation in vivo. Furthermore, upregulated expression of eIF4E has been reported in a variety of human malignancies. Consequently, studies over the last ten years have sought to better characterize the molecular mechanisms and cellular factors that control eIF4E activity. These efforts have revealed a role for eIF4E in diverse biological processes including embryonic development, cell cycle progression, synaptic plasticity and cancer. In this review we focus on several members of the homeodomain protein family, which have recently been identified as a novel class of eIF4E regulators. Histol Histopathol 20, 1275-1284 (2005)

Key words: eIF4E, Homeoproteins, HOXA9, OPRH/HEX

DOI: 10.14670/HH-20.1275