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G3BP1 and G3BP2 regulate translation of interferon-stimulated genes: IFITM1, IFITM2 and IFITM3 in the cancer cell line MCF7.


G3BPs are members of an RNA-binding protein family and their aberrant expression is common in various cancers and there is growing evidence that G3BPs possess antiviral activities and are targeted by various viruses. G3BPs have also been implicated in both stabilization and degradation of specific mRNAs as well as translational control of mRNA targets. G3BPs have been shown to control translation of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs), implying that G3BPs are involved in the regulation of the interferon system in response to viral infections and/or cellular stress. The interferon induced transmembrane (IFITM1, IFITM2 and IFITM3) proteins are antiviral proteins, and are also involved in cancer progression and metastasis. Therefore, these genes were selected in the studies reported here as potential transcript targets of G3BPs. Furthermore, G3BPs are involved in the regulation of the MEK pathway which also impacts on the translation of ISGs. Therefore, the role of this pathway was also analysed in regulation of IFITM1-3 proteins. Overall, this research study suggests that G3BPs are essential for the accumulation of IFITM1-3 proteins and intersect twice in the regulation of IFITM1-3 expression, first through MEK pathway and then through an interaction with the 3'-UTRs of its target transcripts. However, it is still to be determined whether the two apparent functions are part of a single control mechanism or the two functions are mutually exclusive.