eIF3f: a central regulator of the antagonism atrophy/hypertrophy in skeletal muscle

Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2013 Oct;45(10):2158-62. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2013.06.001. Epub 2013 Jun 13.


The eukaryotic initiation factor 3 subunit f (eIF3f) is one of the 13 subunits of the translation initiation factor complex eIF3 required for several steps in the initiation of mRNA translation. In skeletal muscle, recent studies have demonstrated that eIF3f plays a central role in skeletal muscle size maintenance. Accordingly, eIF3f overexpression results in hypertrophy through modulation of protein synthesis via the mTORC1 pathway. Importantly, eIF3f was described as a target of the E3 ubiquitin ligase MAFbx/atrogin-1 for proteasome-mediated breakdown under atrophic conditions. The biological importance of the MAFbx/atrogin-1-dependent targeting of eFI3f is highlighted by the finding that expression of an eIF3f mutant insensitive to MAFbx/atrogin-1 polyubiquitination is associated with enhanced protection against starvation-induced muscle atrophy. A better understanding of the precise role of this subunit should lead to the development of new therapeutic approaches to prevent or limit muscle wasting that prevails in numerous physiological and pathological states such as immobilization, aging, denervated conditions, neuromuscular diseases, AIDS, cancer, diabetes. This article is part of a Directed Issue entitled: Molecular basis of muscle wasting.

Keywords: Cell growth; MAFbx/atrogin-1; Protein translation; Skeletal muscle; eIF3f.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-3 / genetics
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-3 / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Muscle Proteins / genetics
  • Muscle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology*
  • Muscular Atrophy / genetics
  • Muscular Atrophy / metabolism*
  • Muscular Atrophy / pathology
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Signal Transduction


  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-3
  • Muscle Proteins