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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Two zebrafish eIF4E family members are differentially expressed and functionally divergent.

Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E ( eIF4E) is an essential component of the translational machinery that binds m(7)GTP and mediates the recruitment of capped mRNAs by the small ribosomal subunit. Recently, a number of proteins with homology to eIF4E have been reported in plants, invertebrates, and mammals. Together with the prototypical translation factor, these constitute a new family of structurally related proteins. To distinguish the prototypical translation factor eIF4E from other family members, it has been termed eIF4E-1 (Keiper, B. D., Lamphear, B. J., Deshpande, A. M., Jankowska-Anyszka, M., Aamodt, E. J., Blumenthal, T., and Rhoads, R. E. (2000) J. Biol. Chem. 275, 10590-10596). We describe the characterization of two eIF4E family members in the zebrafish Danio rerio. Based on their relative identities with human eIF4E-1, these zebrafish proteins are termed eIF4E-1A (82%) and eIF4E-1B (66%). eIF4E-1B, originally termed eIF4E(L), has been reported previously as the zebrafish eIF4E-1 counterpart (Fahrenkrug, S. C., Dahlquist, M. O., Clark, K., and Hackett, P. B. (1999) Differentiation 65, 191-201; Fahrenkrug, S. C., Joshi, B., Hackett, P. B., and Jagus, R. (2000) Differentiation 66, 15-22). Sequence comparisons suggest that the two genes probably evolved from a duplication event that occurred during vertebrate evolution. eIF4E-1A is expressed ubiquitously in zebrafish, whereas expression of eIF4E-1B is restricted to early embryonic development and to gonads and muscle of the tissues investigated. The ability of these two zebrafish proteins to bind m(7)GTP, eIF4G, and 4E-BP, as well as to complement yeast conditionally deficient in functional eIF4E, show that eIF4E-1A is a functional equivalent of human eIF4E-1. Surprisingly, although eIF4E-1B possesses all known residues thought to be required for interaction with the cap structure, eIF4G, and 4E-BPs, it fails to interact with any of these components, suggesting that this protein serves a role other than that assigned to eIF4E.[1]


  1. Two zebrafish eIF4E family members are differentially expressed and functionally divergent. Robalino, J., Joshi, B., Fahrenkrug, S.C., Jagus, R. J. Biol. Chem. (2004) [Pubmed]
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