Paper of the Month-(January 2019) from Dr. McDermott's research group

Ehyai S, Miyake T, Williams D, Vinayak J, Bayfield MA, McDermott JC. FMRP recruitment of β-catenin to the translation pre-initiation complex represses translation. EMBO Rep. 2018 Oct 25. pii: e45536. doi: 10.15252/embr.201745536

Significance of the research: 

In this study we used affinity purification coupled with mass spectrometry to identify protein partners for β catenin - a key transcriptional regulator in smooth muscle cells. Surprisingly, we identified a number of proteins associated with the control of translation in this analysis of β catenin interacting proteins. We pursued this idea further and found that  β catenin's interaction with the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) results in translational repression. Conditions that remove  β catenin from the translational machinery (eg Wnt signaling) lead to an up-regulation of mRNA translation. This is a novel observation regarding  β catenin function and one that may have implications for control of protein levels in muscle cells in health and disease.

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