Role of the translational repressor 4E-BP1 in the regulation of p21Waf1/Cip1 expression by retinoids

Padma Kannan-Thulasiraman, Blazej Dolniak, Surinder Kaur, Antonella Sassano, Dhananjaya V. Kalvakolanu, Nissim Hay, Leonidas C. Platanias*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The mechanisms by which retinoids regulate initiation of mRNA translation for proteins that mediate their biological effects are not known. We have previously shown that all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA) induces mTOR-mediated activation of the p70 S6 kinase, suggesting the existence of a mechanism by which retinoids may regulate mRNA translation. We now demonstrate that treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL)-derived NB4 cells with ATRA results in dissociation of the translational repressor 4E-BP1 from the eukaryotic initiation factor eIF4E, and subsequent formation of eIF4G-eIF4E complexes. We also show that siRNA-mediated inhibition of 4E-BP1 expression enhances ATRA-dependent upregulation of p21Waf1/Cip1, a protein that plays a key role in the induction of retinoid-dependent responses. Our data also establish that ATRA- or cis-RA-dependent p21Waf1/Cip1 protein expression is enhanced in mouse embryonic fibroblasts with targeted disruption of the 4e-bp1 gene, in the absence of any effects on the transcriptional regulation of the p21Waf1/Cip1 gene. Moreover, generation of ATRA- or cis-retinoic acid (cis-RA)-antiproliferative responses is enhanced in 4E-BP1 knockout cells. Altogether, these findings strongly suggest a key regulatory role for the translational repressor 4E-BP1 in the generation of retinoid-dependent functional responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)983-989
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 18 2008


  • Retinoids
  • Signaling
  • mRNA translation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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