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

GCN20, a novel ATP binding cassette protein, and GCN1 reside in a complex that mediates activation of the eIF-2 alpha kinase GCN2 in amino acid-starved cells.

GCN2 is a protein kinase that phosphorylates the alpha-subunit of translation initiation factor 2 (eIF-2) and thereby stimulates translation of GCN4 mRNA in amino acid-starved cells. We isolated a null mutation in a previously unidentified gene, GCN20, that suppresses the growth-inhibitory effect of eIF-2 alpha hyperphosphorylation catalyzed by mutationally activated forms of GCN2. The deletion of GCN20 in otherwise wild-type strains impairs derepression of GCN4 translation and reduces the level of eIF-2 alpha phosphorylation in vivo, showing that GCN20 is a positive effector of GCN2 kinase function. In accordance with this conclusion, GCN20 was co-immunoprecipitated from cell extracts with GCN1, another factor required to activate GCN2, and the two proteins interacted in the yeast two-hybrid system. We conclude that GCN1 and GCN20 are components of a protein complex that couples the kinase activity of GCN2 to the availability of amino acids. GCN20 is a member of the ATP binding cassette ( ABC) family of proteins and is closely related to ABC proteins identified in Caenorhabditis elegans, rice and humans, suggesting that the function of GCN20 may be conserved among diverse eukaryotic organisms.[1]


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