Translation initiation factor eIF2Bε promotes Wnt-mediated clonogenicity and global translation in intestinal epithelial cells

W. L. Smit, R. J. de Boer, B. J. Meijer, C. N. Spaan, M. van Roest, P. J. Koelink, J. Koster, E. Dekker, T. E.M. Abbink, M. S. van der Knaap, G. R. van den Brink, V. Muncan, J. Heijmans*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Modulation of global mRNA translation, which is essential for intestinal stem cell function, is controlled by Wnt signaling. Loss of tumor supressor APC in stem cells drives adenoma formation through hyperactivion of Wnt signaling and dysregulated translational control. It is unclear whether factors that coordinate global translation in the intestinal epithelium are needed for APC-driven malignant transformation. Here we identified nucleotide exchange factor eIF2Bε as a translation initiation factor involved in Wnt-mediated intestinal epithelial stemness. Using eIF2BεArg191His mice with a homozygous point mutation that leads to dysfunction in the enzymatic activity, we demonstrate that eIF2Bε is involved in small intestinal crypt formation, stemness marker expression, and secreted Paneth cell-derived granule formation. Wnt hyperactivation in ex vivo eIF2BεArg191His organoids, using a GSK3β inhibitor to mimic Apc driven transformation, shows that eIF2Bε is essential for Wnt-mediated clonogenicity and associated increase of the global translational capacity. Finally, we observe high eIF2Bε expression in human colonic adenoma tissues, exposing eIF2Bε as a potential target of CRC stem cells with aberrant Wnt signaling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102499
JournalStem Cell Research
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

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