The eIF2A knockout mouse. Academic Article uri icon


  • Eukaryotic initiation factor 2A (eIF2A) is a 65-kDa protein that was first identified in the early 1970s as a factor capable of stimulating initiator methionyl-tRNAi (Met-tRNAMeti) binding to 40S ribosomal subunits in vitro. However, in contrast to the eIF2, which stimulates Met-tRNAMeti binding to 40S ribosomal subunits in a GTP-dependent manner, eIF2A didn't reveal any GTP-dependence, but instead was found to direct binding of the Met-tRNAMeti to 40S ribosomal subunits in a codon-dependent manner. eIF2A appears to be highly conserved across eukaryotic species, suggesting conservation of function in evolution. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisae eIF2A null mutant revealed no apparent phenotype, however, it was found that in yeast eIF2A functions as a suppressor of internal ribosome entry site (IRES)-mediated translation. It was thus suggested that eIF2A my act by impinging on the expression of specific mRNAs. Subsequent studies in mammalian cell systems implicated eIF2A in non-canonical (non-AUG-dependent) translation initiation events involving near cognate UUG and CUG codons. Yet, the role of eIF2A in cellular functions remains largely enigmatic. As a first step toward characterization of the eIF2A function in mammalian systems in vivo, we have obtained homozygous eIF2A-total knockout (KO) mice, in which a gene trap cassette was inserted between eIF2A exons 1 and 2 disrupting expression of all exons downstream of the insertion. The KO mice strain is viable and to date displays no apparent phenotype. We believe that the eIF2A KO mice strain will serve as a valuable tool for researchers studying non-canonical initiation of translation in vivo.

published proceedings

  • Cell Cycle

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Golovko, A., Kojukhov, A., Guan, B., Morpurgo, B., Merrick, W. C., Mazumder, B., Hatzoglou, M., & Komar, A. A.

citation count

  • 25

complete list of authors

  • Golovko, Andrei||Kojukhov, Artyom||Guan, Bo-Jhih||Morpurgo, Benjamin||Merrick, William C||Mazumder, Barsanjit||Hatzoglou, Maria||Komar, Anton A

publication date

  • January 2016