Eukaryotic initiation factor 2B epsilon induces cap-dependent translation and skeletal muscle hypertrophy

J Physiol. 2011 Jun 15;589(Pt 12):3023-37. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2010.202432. Epub 2011 Apr 11.


The purpose of this study was to identify signalling components known to control mRNA translation initiation in skeletal muscle that are responsive to mechanical load and may be partly responsible for myofibre hypertrophy. To accomplish this, we first utilized a human cluster model in which skeletalmuscle samples fromsubjects with widely divergent hypertrophic responses to resistance training were used for the identification of signalling proteins associated with the degree myofibre hypertrophy. We found that of 11 translational signalling molecules examined, the response of p(T421/S424)-p70S6K phosphorylation and total eukaryotic initiation factor 2Bε (eIF2Bε) protein abundance after a single bout of unaccustomed resistance exercise was associated with myofibre hypertrophy following 16 weeks of training. Follow up studies revealed that overexpression of eIF2Bε alone was sufficient to induce an 87% increase in cap-dependent translation in L6 myoblasts in vitro and 21% hypertrophy of myofibres in mouse skeletal muscle in vivo (P<0.05).However, genetically altering p70S6K activity had no impact on eIF2Bε protein abundance in mouse skeletal muscle in vivo or multiple cell lines in vitro (P >0.05), suggesting that the two phenomena were not directly related. These are the first data that mechanistically link eIF2Bε abundance to skeletal myofibre hypertrophy, and indicate that eIF2Bε abundance may at least partially underlie the widely divergent hypertrophic phenotypes in human skeletal muscle exposed to mechanical stimuli.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Animals
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-2B / metabolism*
  • Hypertrophy / physiopathology
  • Mice
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology*
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Physical Stimulation*
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Stress, Mechanical


  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-2B