Eukaryotic cells respond to stress and changes in the environment in part by repressing translation and forming cytoplasmic assemblies called stress granules and P-bodies, which harbor non-translating mRNAs and proteins. A third, but poorly understood, assembly called the eIF2B body can form and contains the eIF2B complex, an essential guanine exchange factor for the translation initiation factor eIF2. Hypomorphic EIF2B alleles can lead to Vanishing White Matter Disease (VWMD), a leukodystrophy that causes progressive white matter loss. An unexplored question is how eIF2B body formation is controlled and whether VWMD alleles in EIF2B alter the formation of eIF2B bodies, stress granules, or P-bodies. To examine these issues, we assessed eIF2B body, stress granule, and P-body induction in wild-type yeast cells and cells carrying VWMD alleles in the EIF2B2 (GCD7) and EIF2B5 (GCD6) subunits of eIF2B. We demonstrate eIF2B bodies are rapidly and reversibly formed independently of stress granules during acute glucose deprivation. VWMD mutations had diverse effects on stress-induced assemblies with some alleles altering eIF2B bodies, and others leading to increased P-body formation. Moreover, some VWMD-causing mutations in GCD7 caused hyper-sensitivity to chronic GCN2 activation, consistent with VWMD mutations causing hyper-sensitivity to eIF2α phosphorylation and thereby impacting VWMD pathogenesis.
Moon, Stephanie L and Parker, Roy, "Analysis of eIF2B bodies and their relationships with stress granules and P-bodies." (2018). Biochemistry Faculty Contributions. 5.
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