The cap-dependent translation apparatus integrates and amplifies cancer pathways

Vitaly A. Polunovsky, Peter B. Bitterman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Deregulation of a plethora of cancer genes causes pathological changes in only a small set of pathways that confer a cell with malignant properties. This principle of convergence of oncogenic signaling - the ability of several hundred oncogenes to focus their effects on a few critical regulatory nodes that impart autonomy to the cell - motivates the search for putative focal points. Genomic, transcriptional and posttranslational mechanisms that regulate the function of cancer gene pathways are all well established. It has recently become evident that cancer is also subject to translational control. Here we discuss cancer-related regulatory events that are mediated by the cap-dependent mRNA binding stage of translation initiation. This information implicates the cap-dependent protein synthesis pathway as a pleotropic integrator and amplifier of many essential oncogenic signals, and the translational control network as a bona fide molecular target for anti-cancer therapeutic interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-17
Number of pages8
JournalRNA Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Cancer
  • Cap-dependent translation
  • Cell cycle
  • Signaling pathways


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