Regulation of global translation during the cell cycle

J Cell Sci. 2018 Sep 3;131(17):jcs220327. doi: 10.1242/jcs.220327.


It is generally accepted that global translation varies during the cell cycle and is low during mitosis. However, addressing this issue is challenging because it involves cell synchronization, which evokes stress responses that, in turn, affect translation rates. Here, we have used two approaches to measure global translation rates in different cell-cycle phases. First, synchrony in different cell-cycle phases was obtained involving the same stress, by using temperature-sensitive mutants. Second, translation and DNA content were measured by flow cytometry in exponentially growing, single cells. We found no major variation in global translation rates through the cell cycle in either fission yeast or mammalian cells. We also measured phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor-2α, an event that is thought to downregulate global translation in mitosis. In contrast with the prevailing view, eIF2α phosphorylation correlated poorly with downregulation of global translation and ectopically induced eIF2α phosphorylation inhibited global translation only at high levels.

Keywords: Cell cycle; EIF2α phosphorylation; Translation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle*
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-2 / genetics
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-2 / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal
  • Humans
  • Mitosis
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • Schizosaccharomyces / cytology
  • Schizosaccharomyces / genetics*
  • Schizosaccharomyces / growth & development
  • Schizosaccharomyces / metabolism
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / genetics
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / metabolism


  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-2
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins