Translational control of immune responses: from transcripts to translatomes

Nat Immunol. 2014 Jun;15(6):503-11. doi: 10.1038/ni.2891.


Selective translational control of gene expression is emerging as a principal mechanism for the regulation of protein abundance that determines a variety of functions in both the adaptive immune system and the innate immune system. The translation-initiation factor eIF4E acts as a node for such regulation, but non-eIF4E mechanisms are also prevalent. Studies of 'translatomes' (genome-wide pools of translated mRNA) have facilitated mechanistic discoveries by identifying key regulatory components, including transcription factors, that are under translational control. Here we review the current knowledge on mechanisms that regulate translation and thereby modulate immunological function. We further describe approaches for measuring and analyzing translatomes and how such powerful tools can facilitate future insights on the role of translational control in the immune system.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / genetics
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / immunology
  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-4E / genetics
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-4E / immunology
  • Gene Expression Regulation / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Immune System / immunology*
  • Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 1
  • Mice
  • Multiprotein Complexes / genetics
  • Phosphoproteins / genetics
  • Phosphoproteins / immunology
  • Protein Biosynthesis / genetics*
  • Protein Biosynthesis / immunology
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • EIF4EBP1 protein, human
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-4E
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Phosphoproteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 1
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases