Various forms of stress can cause an attenuation of bulk translation activity and the accumulation of nontranslating mRNAs into cytoplasmic messenger RNP (mRNP) granules termed processing bodies (P-bodies) and stress granules (SGs) in eukaryotic cells. Furfural and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), derived from lignocellulosic biomass, inhibit yeast growth and fermentation as stressors. Since there is no report regarding their effects on the formation of cytoplasmic mRNP granules, here we investigated whether furfural and HMF cause the assembly of yeast P-bodies and SGs accompanied by translational repression. We found that furfural and HMF cause the attenuation of bulk translation activity and the assembly of cytoplasmic mRNP granules in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Notably, a combination of furfural and HMF induced the remarkable repression of translation initiation and SG formation. These findings provide new information about the physiological effects of furfural and HMF on yeast cells, and also suggest the potential usefulness of cytoplasmic mRNP granules as a warning sign or index of the deterioration of cellular physiological status in the fermentation of lignocellulosic hydrolysates.
A universal feature of metazoan sexual development is the generation of oocyte P granules that withhold certain mRNA species from translation to provide coding potential for proteins during early post-fertilization development. Stabilisation of translationally quiescent mRNA pools in female Plasmodium gametocytes depends on the RNA helicase DOZI, but the molecular machinery involved in the silencing of transcripts in these protozoans is unknown. Using affinity purification coupled with mass-spectrometric analysis we identify a messenger ribonucleoprotein (mRNP) from Plasmodium berghei gametocytes defined by DOZI and the Sm-like factor CITH (homolog of worm CAR-I and fly Trailer Hitch). This mRNP includes 16 major factors, including proteins with homologies to components of metazoan P granules and archaeal proteins. Containing translationally silent transcripts, this mRNP integrates eIF4E and poly(A)-binding protein but excludes P body RNA degradation factors and translation-initiation promoting eIF4G. Gene deletion mutants of 2 core components of this mRNP (DOZI and CITH) are fertilization-competent, but zygotes fail to develop into ookinetes in a female gametocyte-mutant fashion. Through RNA-immunoprecipitation and global expression profiling of CITH-KO mutants we highlight CITH as a crucial repressor of maternally supplied mRNAs. Our data define Plasmodium P granules as an ancient mRNP whose protein core has remained evolutionarily conserved from single-cell organisms to germ cells of multi-cellular animals and stores translationally silent mRNAs that are critical for early post-fertilization development during the initial stages of mosquito infection. Therefore, translational repression may offer avenues as a target for the generation of transmission blocking strategies and contribute to limiting the spread of malaria.
Transmission of malaria relies on ingestion of male and female sexual precursor cells (gametocytes) from the human host by the mosquito vector. Fertilization results in the formation of a diploid zygote that transforms into the ookinete, the motile form of the parasite that is capable of escaping the hostile mosquito midgut environment and truly infecting the mosquito vector. The developmental program of the Plasmodium zygote depends on the availability of mRNA pools transcribed and stored, but not translated, in the female gametocyte. Here we identify the core protein factors that co-operate in the assembly of mRNAs into a translationally silent ribonucleoprotein complex. In the absence of either DOZI or CITH—two key molecules within this complex—gametocytes suffer large scale mRNA de-stabilization that does not affect fertilization but culminates in the abortion of ookinete development soon after zygote formation. We characterize large scale, evolutionarily ancient translational silencing as a principal regulatory element during Plasmodium sexual development.
In response to environmental stress and viral infection, mammalian cells form foci containing translationally silenced mRNPs termed stress granules (SGs). As aggregates of stalled initiation complexes, SGs are defined by the presence of translation initiation machinery in addition to mRNA binding proteins. Here, we report that cells infected with poliovirus (PV) can form SGs early that contain T-cell-restricted intracellular antigen 1 (TIA1), translation initiation factors, RNA binding proteins, and mRNA. However, this response is blocked as infection progresses, and a type of pseudo-stress granule remains at late times postinfection and contains TIA but lacks translation initiation factors, mRNA binding proteins, and most polyadenylated mRNA. This result was observed using multiple stressors, including viral infection, oxidative stress, heat shock, and endoplasmic reticulum stress. Multiple proteins required for efficient viral internal ribosome entry site-dependent translation are localized to SGs under stress conditions, providing a potential rationale for the evolution and maintenance of the SG inhibition phenotype. Further, the expression of a noncleavable form of the RasGAP-SH3 domain binding protein in PV-infected cells enables SGs whose constituents are consistent with the presence of stalled 48S translation preinitiation complexes to persist throughout infection. These results indicate that in poliovirus-infected cells, the functions of TIA self-aggregation and aggregation of stalled translation initiation complexes into stress granules are severed, leading to novel foci that contain TIA1 but lack other stress granule-defining components.
Stress granules are a type of cytoplasmic messenger ribonucleoprotein (mRNP) granule formed in response to the inhibition of translation initiation, which typically occurs when cells are exposed to stress. Stress granules are conserved in eukaryotes; however, in filamentous fungi, including Aspergillus oryzae, stress granules have not yet been defined. For this reason, here we investigated the formation and localization of stress granules in A. oryzae cells exposed to various stresses using an EGFP fusion protein of AoPab1, a homolog of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Pab1p, as a stress granule marker. Localization analysis showed that AoPab1 was evenly distributed throughout the cytoplasm under normal growth conditions, and accumulated as cytoplasmic foci mainly at the hyphal tip in response to stress. AoSO, a homolog of Neurospora crassa SO, which is necessary for hyphal fusion, colocalized with stress granules in cells exposed to heat stress. The formation of cytoplasmic foci of AoSO was blocked by treatment with cycloheximide, a known inhibitor of stress granule formation. Deletion of the Aoso gene had effects on the formation and localization of stress granules in response to heat stress. Our results suggest that AoSO is a novel component of stress granules specific to filamentous fungi.
The authors would specially like to thank Hiroyuki Nakano and Kei Saeki for generously providing experimental and insightful opinions.
The translation, localization, and degradation of cytoplasmic mRNAs are controlled by the formation and rearrangement of their mRNPs. The conserved Ded1/DDX3 DEAD-box protein functions in an unknown manner to affect both translation initiation and repression. We demonstrate that Ded1 first functions by directly interacting with eIF4G to assemble a Ded1-mRNA-eIF4F complex, which accumulates in stress granules. Following ATP hydrolysis by Ded1, the mRNP exits stress granules and completes translation initiation. Thus, Ded1 functions both as a repressor of translation, by assembling an mRNP stalled in translation initiation, and as an ATP-dependent activator of translation, by resolving the stalled mRNP. These results identify Ded1 as a translation initiation factor that assembles and remodels an intermediate complex in translation initiation.
The stress response in eukaryotic cells often inhibits translation initiation and leads to the formation of cytoplasmic RNA-protein complexes referred to as stress granules. Stress granules contain non-translating mRNAs, translation initiation components, and many additional proteins affecting mRNA function. Stress granules have been proposed to affect mRNA translation and stability, as well as being linked to apoptosis and nuclear processes. Stress granules also interact with P-bodies, another cytoplasmic RNP granule containing non-translating mRNA, translation repressors and some mRNA degradation machinery. Together, stress granules and P-bodies reveal a dynamic cycle of distinct biochemical and compartmentalized mRNPs in the cytosol, with implications for the control of mRNA function.
In mammalian cells, two different messenger ribonucleoproteins (mRNPs) serve as templates for protein synthesis. Newly synthesized mRNPs bound by the cap-binding protein heterodimer CBP80-CBP20 (CBC) initially undergo a pioneer round of translation. One purpose of this round of translation is to ensure the quality of gene expression, as exemplified by nonsense-mediated messenger RNA (mRNA) decay (NMD). NMD largely functions to eliminate mRNAs that prematurely terminate translation, although NMD also contributes to proper gene control, and it targets CBC-bound mRNPs. CBC-bound mRNPs are remodeled to eukaryotic translation initiation factor (eIF)4E-bound mRNPs in steps that (1) are a consequence of the pioneer round of translation and (2) occur independently of translation. Rather than supporting NMD, eIF4E-bound mRNPs provide for the bulk of cellular protein synthesis and are the primary targets of mRNA decay mechanisms that conditionally regulate gene expression. Here, we overview cellular processes by which CBC-bound mRNPs are remodeled to eIF4E-bound mRNPs. We also describe the molecular movements of certain factors during NMD in view of the influential role of CBP80.
Fertilization of sea urchin eggs results in a large increase in the rate of protein synthesis which is mediated by the translation of stored maternal mRNA. The masked message hypothesis suggests that messenger ribonucleoprotein particles (mRNPs) from unfertilized eggs are translationally inactive and that fertilization results in alterations of the mRNPs such that they become translationally active. Previous workers have isolated egg mRNPs by sucrose gradient centrifugation and have assayed their translational activity in heterologous cell-free systems. The conflicting results they obtained are probably due to the sensitivity of mRNPs to artifactual activation and inactivation. Previously, we demonstrated that unfractionated mRNPs in a sea urchin cell-free translation system were translationally inactive. Now, using large-pore gel filtration chromatography, we partially purified egg mRNPs while retaining their translationally repressed state. Polysomal mRNPs from fertilized eggs isolated under the same conditions were translationally active. The changes in the pattern of proteins synthesized by fractionated unfertilized and fertilized mRNPs in vitro were similar to those changes observed in vivo. Treatment of egg mRNPs with buffers containing high salt and EDTA, followed by rechromatography, resulted in the activation of the mRNPs and the release of an inhibitor of translation from the mRNPs. Analysis of the inhibitory fraction on one-dimensional sodium dodecyl sulfate gels indicated that this fraction contains a complex set of proteins, several of which were released from high-salt-EDTA-activated mRNPs and not from inactive low-salt control mRNPs. One of the released proteins may be responsible for the repression of egg mRNPs in vitro and be involved in the unmasking of mRNPs at fertilization.
mRNA decapping is a critical step in eukaryotic cytoplasmic mRNA turnover. Cytoplasmic mRNA decapping is catalyzed by Dcp2 in conjunction with its co-activator Dcp1, and is stimulated by decapping enhancer proteins. mRNAs associated with the decapping machinery can assemble into cytoplasmic mRNP granules called processing bodies (PBs). Evidence suggests that PB-associated mRNPs are translationally repressed and can be degraded or stored for subsequent translation. However, whether mRNP assembly into a PB is important for translational repression, decapping or decay has remained controversial. Here we discuss the regulation of decapping machinery recruitment to specific mRNPs and how their assembly into PBs is governed by the relative rates of translational repression, mRNP multimerization and mRNA decay.
mRNA turnover; decapping; Dcp2; Dcp1; processing bodies
Processing bodies (PBs) and Stress granules (SGs) are the founding members of a new class of RNA granules, known as mRNA silencing foci, as they harbor transcripts circumstantially excluded from the translationally active pool. PBs and SGs are able to release mRNAs thus allowing their translation. PBs are constitutive, but respond to stimuli that affect mRNA translation and decay, whereas SGs are specifically induced upon cellular stress, which triggers a global translational silencing by several pathways, including phosphorylation of the key translation initiation factor elF2alpha, and tRNA cleavage among others. PBs and SGs with different composition may coexist in a single cell. These macromolecular aggregates are highly conserved through evolution, from unicellular organisms to vertebrate neurons. Their dynamics is regulated by several signaling pathways, and depends on microfilaments and microtubules, and the cognate molecular motors myosin, dynein, and kinesin. SGs share features with aggresomes and related aggregates of unfolded proteins frequently present in neurodegenerative diseases, and may play a role in the pathology. Virus infections may induce or impair SG formation. Besides being important for mRNA regulation upon stress, SGs modulate the signaling balancing apoptosis and cell survival. Finally, the formation of nuclear stress bodies (nSBs), which share components with SGs, and the assembly of additional cytosolic aggregates containing RNA—the UV granules and the Ire1 foci—, all them induced by specific cell damage factors, contribute to cell survival.
Processing Body; Stress Granule; Kinesin; Dynein; Bicaudal D; aggresome
Recent results suggest that cytoplasmic mRNAs can form translationally repressed messenger ribonucleoprotein particles (mRNPs) capable of decapping and degradation, or accumulation into cytoplasmic processing bodies (P-bodies), which can function as sites of mRNA storage. The proteins that function in transitions between the translationally repressed mRNPs that accumulate in P-bodies and mRNPs engaged in translation are largely unknown. Herein, we demonstrate that the yeast translation initiation factor Ded1p can localize to P-bodies. Moreover, depletion of Ded1p leads to defects in P-body formation. Overexpression of Ded1p results in increased size and number of P-bodies and inhibition of growth in a manner partially suppressed by loss of Pat1p, Dhh1p, or Lsm1p. Mutations that inactivate the ATPase activity of Ded1p increase the overexpression growth inhibition of Ded1p and prevent Ded1p from localizing in P-bodies. Combined with earlier work showing Ded1p can have a positive effect on translation, these results suggest that Ded1p is a bifunctional protein that can affect both translation initiation and P-body formation.
Processing bodies (P-bodies) are cytoplasmic RNA granules that contain translationally repressed messenger ribonucleoproteins (mRNPs) and messenger RNA (mRNA) decay factors. The physical interactions that form the individual mRNPs within P-bodies and how those mRNPs assemble into larger P-bodies are unresolved. We identify direct protein interactions that could contribute to the formation of an mRNP complex that consists of core P-body components. Additionally, we demonstrate that the formation of P-bodies that are visible by light microscopy occurs either through Edc3p, which acts as a scaffold and cross-bridging protein, or via the “prionlike” domain in Lsm4p. Analysis of cells defective in P-body formation indicates that the concentration of translationally repressed mRNPs and decay factors into microscopically visible P-bodies is not necessary for basal control of translation repression and mRNA decay. These results suggest a stepwise model for P-body assembly with the initial formation of a core mRNA–protein complex that then aggregates through multiple specific mechanisms.
The control of translation and mRNA degradation plays a key role in the regulation of eukaryotic gene expression. In the cytosol, mRNAs engaged in translation are distributed throughout the cytosol, while translationally inactive mRNAs can accumulate in P bodies, in complex with mRNA degradation and translation repression machinery, or in stress granules, which appear to be mRNAs stalled in translation initiation. Here we discuss how these different granules suggest a dynamic model for the metabolism of cytoplasmic mRNAs wherein they cycle between different mRNP states with different functional properties and subcellular locations.
mRNA decay; Translational repression; P bodies and Stress granules
Central nervous system myelination requires the synthesis of large amounts of myelin basic protein (MBP) at the axon–glia contact site. MBP messenger RNA (mRNA) is transported in RNA granules to oligodendroglial processes in a translationally silenced state. This process is regulated by the trans-acting factor heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) A2 binding to the cis-acting A2 response element (A2RE). Release of this repression of MBP mRNA translation is thus essential for myelination. Mice deficient in the Src family tyrosine kinase Fyn are hypomyelinated and contain reduced levels of MBP. Here, we identify hnRNP A2 as a target of activated Fyn in oligodendrocytes. We show that active Fyn phosphorylates hnRNP A2 and stimulates translation of an MBP A2RE–containing reporter construct. Neuronal adhesion molecule L1 binding to oligodendrocytes results in Fyn activation, which leads to an increase in hnRNP A2 phosphorylation. These results suggest that Fyn kinase activation results in the localized translation of MBP mRNA at sites of axon–glia contact and myelin deposition.
Trypanosomes lack many core components of ribonucleoprotein (RNP) granules identified in yeast and humans (e.g., DCP1/2). This study provides evidence for SCD6 being the core RNP granule component in trypanosomes: overexpression induces granules independent of translation, and even when SCD6 is targeted to the nucleus. Granule type and granule number are dependent on the RGG domain.
Ribonucleoprotein (RNP) granules are cytoplasmic, microscopically visible structures composed of RNA and protein with proposed functions in mRNA decay and storage. Trypanosomes have several types of RNP granules, but lack most of the granule core components identified in yeast and humans. The exception is SCD6/Rap55, which is essential for processing body (P-body) formation. In this study, we analyzed the role of trypanosome SCD6 in RNP granule formation. Upon overexpression, the majority of SCD6 aggregates to multiple granules enriched at the nuclear periphery that recruit both P-body and stress granule proteins, as well as mRNAs. Granule protein composition depends on granule distance to the nucleus. In contrast to findings in yeast and humans, granule formation does not correlate with translational repression and can also take place in the nucleus after nuclear targeting of SCD6. While the SCD6 Lsm domain alone is both necessary and sufficient for granule induction, the RGG motif determines granule type and number: the absence of an intact RGG motif results in the formation of fewer granules that resemble P-bodies. The differences in granule number remain after nuclear targeting, indicating translation-independent functions of the RGG domain. We propose that, in trypanosomes, a local increase in SCD6 concentration may be sufficient to induce granules by recruiting mRNA. Proteins that bind selectively to the RGG and/or Lsm domain of SCD6 could be responsible for regulating granule type and number.
In response to mammalian orthoreovirus (MRV) infection, cells initiate a stress response that includes eIF2α phosphorylation and protein synthesis inhibition. We have previously shown that early in infection, MRV activation of eIF2α phosphorylation results in the formation of cellular stress granules (SGs). In this work, we show that as infection proceeds, MRV disrupts SGs despite sustained levels of phosphorylated eIF2α and, further, interferes with the induction of SGs by other stress inducers. MRV interference with SG formation occurs downstream of eIF2α phosphorylation, suggesting the virus uncouples the cellular stress signaling machinery from SG formation. We additionally examined mRNA translation in the presence of SGs induced by eIF2α phosphorylation-dependent and -independent mechanisms. We found that irrespective of eIF2α phosphorylation status, the presence of SGs in cells correlated with inhibition of viral and cellular translation. In contrast, MRV disruption of SGs correlated with the release of viral mRNAs from translational inhibition, even in the presence of phosphorylated eIF2α. Viral mRNAs were also translated in the presence of phosphorylated eIF2α in PKR−/− cells. These results suggest that MRV escape from host cell translational shutoff correlates with virus-induced SG disruption and occurs in the presence of phosphorylated eIF2α in a PKR-independent manner.
Alphavirus infection results in the shutoff of host protein synthesis in favor of viral translation. Here, we show that during Semliki Forest virus (SFV) infection, the translation inhibition is largely due to the activation of the cellular stress response via phosphorylation of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α subunit (eIF2α). Infection of mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) expressing a nonphosphorylatable mutant of eIF2α does not result in efficient shutoff, despite efficient viral protein production. Furthermore, we show that the SFV translation enhancer element counteracts the translation inhibition imposed by eIF2α phosphorylation. In wild-type MEFs, viral infection induces the transient formation of stress granules (SGs) containing the cellular TIA-1/R proteins. These SGs are disassembled in the vicinity of viral RNA replication, synchronously with the switch from cellular to viral gene expression. We propose that phosphorylation of eIF2α and the consequent SG assembly is important for shutoff to occur and that the localized SG disassembly and the presence of the enhancer aid the SFV mRNAs to elude general translational arrest.
Stress granules (SGs) are large cytoplasmic ribonucleoprotein complexes that are assembled when cells are exposed to stress. SGs promote the survival of stressed cells by contributing to the reprogramming of protein expression as well as by blocking pro-apoptotic signaling cascades. These cytoprotective effects implicated SGs in the resistance of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy. We have found that sodium selenite, a selenium compound with chemotherapeutic potential, is a potent inducer of SG assembly. Selenite-induced SGs differ from canonical mammalian SGs in their morphology, composition and mechanism of assembly. Their assembly is induced primarily by eIF4E-binding protein1 (4EBP1)-mediated inhibition of translation initiation, which is reinforced by concurrent phosphorylation of eIF2α. Selenite-induced SGs lack several classical SG components, including proteins that contribute to pro-survival functions of canonical SGs. Our results reveal a new mechanism of mammalian SG assembly and provide insights into how selenite cytotoxicity may be exploited as an anti-neoplastic therapy.
Stress granules and P-bodies are conserved cytoplasmic aggregates of non-translating mRNPs implicated in the regulation of mRNA translation and decay, and are related to RNP granules in embryos, neurons and pathological inclusions in some degenerative diseases. In a genetic screen using bakers yeast, we identified 125 genes that affect the dynamics of P-bodies and/or stress granules. Analyses of additional mutants, including Cdc48 alleles, provide evidence that stress granules can be targeted to the vacuole by autophagy, in a process termed granulophagy. Moreover, stress granule clearance in mammalian cells is reduced by inhibition of autophagy or by depletion or pathogenic mutations in VCP, the human ortholog of Cdc48. Since mutations in VCP predispose humans to ALS, FTLD, IBM and MSP this work suggests that autophagic clearance of stress-granule related and pathogenic RNP granules that arise in degenerative diseases may be important in reducing their pathology.
Deadenylation is the major step in triggering mRNA decay and results in mRNA translation inhibition in eukaryotic cells. Therefore, it is plausible that deadenylation also induces the mRNP remodeling required for formation of GW bodies or RNA processing bodies (P-bodies), which harbor translationally silenced mRNPs. In this chapter, we discuss several examples to illustrate the roles of deadenylation in regulating gene expression. We highlight several lines of evidence indicating that even though non-translatable mRNPs may be prepared and/or assembled into P-bodies in different ways, deadenylation is always a necessary, and perhaps the earliest, step in mRNA decay pathways that enable mRNP remodeling required for P-body formation. Thus, deadenylation and the participating deadenylases are not simply required for preparing mRNA substrates; they play an indispensable role both structurally and functionally in P-body formation and regulation.
GW body; mRNA turnover; poly(A); microRNA; deadenylation; P-body; translational control
Stress granules contain a large number of post-translationally modified proteins, and studies have shown that these modifications serve as recruitment tags for specific proteins and even control the assembly and disassembly of the granules themselves. Work originating from our laboratory has focused on the role protein methylation plays in stress granule composition and function. We have demonstrated that both asymmetrically and symmetrically dimethylated proteins are core constituents of stress granules, and we have endeavored to understand when and how this occurs. Here we seek to integrate this data into a framework consisting of the currently known post-translational modifications affecting stress granules to produce a model of stress granule dynamics that, in turn, may serve as a benchmark for understanding and predicting how post-translational modifications regulate other granule types.
Eukaryotic cells under stress repress translation and localize these messenger RNAs (mRNAs) to cytoplasmic RNA granules. We show that specific stress stimuli induce the assembly of RNA granules in an organelle with bacterial ancestry, the chloroplast of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. These chloroplast stress granules (cpSGs) form during oxidative stress and disassemble during recovery from stress. Like mammalian stress granules, cpSGs contain poly(A)-binding protein and the small, but not the large, ribosomal subunit. In addition, mRNAs are in continuous flux between polysomes and cpSGs during stress. Localization of cpSGs within the pyrenoid reveals that this chloroplast compartment functions in this stress response. The large subunit of ribulosebisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase also assembles into cpSGs and is known to bind mRNAs during oxidative stress, raising the possibility that it plays a role in cpSG assembly. This discovery within such an organelle suggests that mRNA localization to granules during stress is a more general phenomenon than currently realized.
Virus infection-induced global protein synthesis suppression is linked to assembly of stress granules (SGs), cytosolic aggregates of stalled translation preinitiation complexes. To study long-term stress responses, we developed an imaging approach for extended observation and analysis of SG dynamics during persistent hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. In combination with type 1 interferon, HCV infection induces highly dynamic assembly/disassembly of cytoplasmic SGs, concomitant with phases of active and stalled translation, delayed cell division, and prolonged cell survival. Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), independent of viral replication, is sufficient to trigger these oscillations. Translation initiation factor eIF2α phosphorylation by protein kinase R mediates SG formation and translation arrest. This is antagonized by the upregulation of GADD34, the regulatory subunit of protein phosphatase 1 dephosphorylating eIF2α. Stress response oscillation is a general mechanism to prevent long-lasting translation repression and a conserved host cell reaction to multiple RNA viruses, which HCV may exploit to establish persistence.
In a variety of cell types in plants, animals, and fungi, ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes play critical roles in regulating RNA metabolism. These RNP granules include processing bodies and stress granules that are found broadly across cell types, as well as RNP granules unique to the germline, such as P granules, polar granules, sponge bodies, and germinal granules. This review focuses on RNP granules localized in oocytes of the major model systems, Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila, Xenopus, mouse, and zebrafish. The signature families of proteins within oocyte RNPs include Vasa and other RNA-binding proteins, decapping activators and enzymes, Argonaute family proteins, and translation initiation complex proteins. This review describes the many recent insights into the dynamics and functions of RNP granules, including their roles in mRNA degradation, mRNA localization, translational regulation, and fertility. The roles of the cytoskeleton and cell organelles in regulating RNP granule assembly are also discussed.
RNP granules; Oocytes; P granules; Polar granules; Sponge bodies; Germ granules; P bodies; Translational regulation
Cytoplasmic aggregates known as stress granules (SGs) arise as a consequence of cellular stress and contain stalled translation preinitiation complexes. These foci are thought to serve as sites of mRNA storage or triage during the cell stress response. SG formation has been shown to require induction of eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF)2α phosphorylation. Herein, we investigate the potential role of other initiation factors in this process and demonstrate that interfering with eIF4A activity, an RNA helicase required for the ribosome recruitment phase of translation initiation, induces SG formation and that this event is not dependent on eIF2α phosphorylation. We also show that inhibition of eIF4A activity does not impair the ability of eIF2α to be phosphorylated under stress conditions. Furthermore, we observed SG assembly upon inhibition of cap-dependent translation after poliovirus infection. We propose that SG modeling can occur via both eIF2α phosphorylation-dependent and -independent pathways that target translation initiation.