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Dept of Cellular and Physiological Sciences - The 14th D.Harold Copp Lecture: Nahum Sonenberg, PhD

June 13, 2018 - 4:00pm

Life Sciences Centre

2350 Health Sciences Mall



Translational control of cancer and brain diseases via the mRNA cap-binding protein, eIF4E
Nahum Sonenberg, PhD
Professor, FRS Gilman Cheney Chair in Biochemistry Goodman Cancer Research Center, McGill University
UBC Dept of Cellular and Physiological Sciences

Dr. Sonenberg is the father of translational control that plays a critical role in essential cellular processes including cell growth, proliferation, development, and learning and memory. Under most circumstances, translational control is exerted at the initiation step in which the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E  (eIF4E) interacts with the mRNA 5’cap structure to facilitate the recruitment of ribosomes and promote translation. Importantly, eIF4E preferentially stimulates the translation of a subset of mRNAs. The activity of eIF4E is regulated chiefly by two major signalling pathways: PI3K/Akt/mTOR and Ras/MAPK/Mnk. mTOR directly phosphorylates the 4E-BPs (eIF4E-binding proteins), which are inhibitors of eIF4E, to relieve translational suppression, while Mnk phosphorylates eIF4E to stimulate translation. Aberrations in these pathways result in dysregulated eIF4E activity, which engenders tumorigenesis and neurological disorders such as autism, Fragile X Syndrome and depression.

Funded by an endowment from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Wolfe & Gita Churg Foundation

UBC Faculty of Medicine contact Information: Dr. Ivan Robert Nabi, phone 604-822-7000

Copp Lecture Dr. Sonenberg June 13th 2018.pdf2.34 MB