Comparison of the activities of variant forms of eIF-4D: The requirement for hypusine or deoxyhypusine

M. H. Park, E. C. Wolff, Zeljka McBride, J. W.B. Hershey, J. E. Folk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Eukaryotic protein synthesis initiation factor 4D (eIF-4D) (current nomenclature, eIF-5A) contains the unique amino acid hypusine (N(ε)-(4-amino-2-hydroxybutyl)lysine). The first step in hypusine biosynthesis, i.e. the formation of the intermediate, deoxyhypusine (N(ε)-(4-aminobutyl)lysine), was carried out in vitro using spermidine, deoxyhypusine synthase, and ec-eIF-4D(Lys), an eIF-4D precursor prepared by over-expression of human eIF-4D cDNA in Escherichia coli. In a parallel reaction, using N-(3-aminopropyl)cadaverine in place of spermidine, a variant form of eIF-4D containing homodeoxyhypusine (N(ε)-(5-aminopentyl)lysine) was prepared. Evidence that N-(3-amino-propyl)cadaverine can also act as the amine substrate for deoxyhypusine synthase in intact cells was obtained by incubating putrescine- and spermidine-depleted Chinese hamster ovary cells with [3H]cadaverine. In these cells, in which [3H]cadaverine is readily converted to N-(3-aminopropyl) [3H]cadaverine, small amounts of [3H]homodeoxyhypusine and another 3H-labeled compound, presumed to be N(ε)-(5-amino-2-hydroxy[3H]pentyl)lysine, were found. eIF-4D stimulates methionyl-puromycin synthesis, an in vitro model assay for translation initiation. Whereas the unmodified precursor ec-eIF-4D(Lys) appeared inactive, the deoxyhypusine-containing form provided a significant degree of stimulation. The variant form containing homodeoxyhypusine, on the other hand, showed little or no activity. These findings emphasize the importance of hypusine or deoxyhypusine for the biological activity of eIF-4D and demonstrate the influence of both the length and chemical nature of its amino alkyl side chain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7988-7994
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number13
StatePublished - Aug 13 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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