5′-Cap‒Dependent Translation as a Potent Therapeutic Target for Lethal Human Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Academic Article


  • Skin squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) are a major cause of death in patients who have undergone or will undergo organ transplantation. Moreover, these neoplasms cause significant disease and economic burden and diminish patients’ life quality. However, no effective treatment or intervention strategies are available. In this study, we investigated the pathologic role of 5′-cap translation, which is regulated by the formation of a ternary initiation factor complex involving eIF4E, eIF4G, and eIF4A1. We detected increased expression of phosphorylated eIF4E, eIF4G, and eIF4A1 in human and murine skin SCCs. The increase in these ternary initiation factor complex proteins was associated with enhanced eIF4E translation targets cyclin D1 and c-Myc. Conversely, small interfering RNA–mediated depletion of eIF4E in human SCC cells (A431 and SCC-13) reduced eIF4G and proteins that regulate the cell cycle and proliferation. Notably, inhibition of Raf/MAPK/extracellular signal–regulated kinase signaling decreased eIF4E and phosphorylated eIF4E accumulation and significantly diminished cell-cycle gene expression and tumor volume of A431-derived xenograft tumors. Furthermore, disrupting the eIF4E with an allosteric inhibitor of eIF4E and eIF4G binding, 4EGI-1, decreased the eIF4E/eIF4G expression and reduced the proliferation. Finally, combined inhibition of the Raf/MAPK/extracellular signal–regulated kinase axis and eIF4E impaired 5′-cap‒dependent translation and abrogated tumor cell proliferation. These data demonstrate that 5′-cap‒dependent translation is a potential therapeutic target for abrogating lethal skin SCCs in patients who have undergone or will undergo organ transplantation.
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    Author List

  • Srivastava RK; Khan J; Arumugam A; Muzaffar S; Guroji P; Gorbatyuk MS; Elmets CA; Slominski AT; Mukhtar MS; Athar M
  • Start Page

  • 742
  • End Page

  • 753.e10
  • Volume

  • 141
  • Issue

  • 4