Targeting the translation machinery in cancer

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2015 Apr;14(4):261-78. doi: 10.1038/nrd4505. Epub 2015 Mar 6.


Dysregulation of mRNA translation is a frequent feature of neoplasia. Many oncogenes and tumour suppressors affect the translation machinery, making aberrant translation a widespread characteristic of tumour cells, independent of the genetic make-up of the cancer. Therefore, therapeutic agents that target components of the protein synthesis apparatus hold promise as novel anticancer drugs that can overcome intra-tumour heterogeneity. In this Review, we discuss the role of translation in cancer, with a particular focus on the eIF4F (eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4F) complex, and provide an overview of recent efforts aiming to 'translate' these results to the clinic.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Protein Biosynthesis / drug effects*
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • RNA, Messenger