Cancer-Associated Eukaryotic Translation Initiation Factor 1A Mutants Impair Rps3 and Rps10 Binding and Enhance Scanning of Cell Cycle Genes

Mol Cell Biol. 2019 Jan 16;39(3):e00441-18. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00441-18. Print 2019 Feb 1.


Protein synthesis is linked to cell proliferation, and its deregulation contributes to cancer. Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 1A (eIF1A) plays a key role in scanning and AUG selection and differentially affects the translation of distinct mRNAs. Its unstructured N-terminal tail (NTT) is frequently mutated in several malignancies. Here we report that eIF1A is essential for cell proliferation and cell cycle progression. Ribosome profiling of eIF1A knockdown cells revealed a substantial enrichment of cell cycle mRNAs among the downregulated genes, which are predominantly characterized by a lengthy 5' untranslated region (UTR). Conversely, eIF1A depletion caused a broad stimulation of 5' UTR initiation at a near cognate AUG, unveiling a prominent role of eIF1A in suppressing 5' UTR translation. In addition, the AUG context-dependent autoregulation of eIF1 was disrupted by eIF1A depletion, suggesting their cooperation in AUG context discrimination and scanning. Importantly, cancer-associated eIF1A NTT mutants augmented the eIF1A positive effect on a long 5' UTR, while they hardly affected AUG selection. Mechanistically, these mutations diminished the eIF1A interaction with Rps3 and Rps10 implicated in scanning arrest. Our findings suggest that the reduced binding of eIF1A NTT mutants to the ribosome retains its open state and facilitates scanning of long 5' UTR-containing cell cycle genes.

Keywords: 5′ UTR; Rps10; Rps3; eIF1; eIF1A; eIF1AX; translation initiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 5' Untranslated Regions
  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle Checkpoints / physiology
  • Cell Proliferation / physiology
  • Codon, Initiator
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-1 / genetics*
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-1 / metabolism*
  • Fibroblasts
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Ribosomal Proteins / genetics
  • Ribosomal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Ribosomes / metabolism


  • 5' Untranslated Regions
  • Codon, Initiator
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-1
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RPS10 protein, human
  • RPS3 protein, human
  • Ribosomal Proteins
  • eukaryotic peptide initiation factor-1A