Eukaryotic Initiation Translation Factor 2A activation by cannabidiolic acid alters the protein homeostasis balance in glioblastoma cells

Int J Biol Macromol. 2024 Jul;273(Pt 1):132968. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2024.132968. Epub 2024 Jun 11.


Eukaryotic Initiation Translation Factor 2A (EIF2A) is considered to be primarily responsible for the initiation of translation when a cell is subjected to stressful conditions. However, information regarding this protein is still incomplete. Using a combination of proteomic approaches, we demonstrated that EIF2A is the molecular target of the naturally occurring bioactive compound cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) within human glioblastoma cells. This finding allowed us to undertake a study aimed at obtaining further information on the functions that EIF2A plays in tumor cells. Indeed, our data showed that CBDA is able to activate EIF2A when the cells are in no-stress conditions. It induces conformational changes in the protein structure, thus increasing EIF2A affinity towards the proteins participating in the Eukaryotic Translation Machinery. Consequently, following glioblastoma cells incubation with CBDA we observed an enhanced neosynthesis of proteins involved in the stress response, nucleic acid translation and organization, and protein catabolism. These changes in gene expression resulted in increased levels of ubiquitinated proteins and accumulation of the autophagosome. Our results, in addition to shedding light on the molecular mechanism underlying the biological effect of a phytocannabinoid in cancer cells, demonstrated that EIF2A plays a critical role in regulation of protein homeostasis.

Keywords: EIF2A; Eukaryotic translation machinery; Protein interaction; Proteomics; Ubiquitination.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-2* / metabolism
  • Glioblastoma* / metabolism
  • Glioblastoma* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Protein Biosynthesis / drug effects
  • Proteomics / methods
  • Proteostasis / drug effects


  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-2