Translational control mechanisms in cutaneous malignant melanoma: The role of eIF2α

Immacolata Maida, Paola Zanna, Stefania Guida, Anna Ferretta, Tiziana Cocco, Luigi Leonardo Palese, Paola Londei, Dario Benelli, Amalia Azzariti, Stefania Tommasi, Michele Guida, Giovanni Pellacani, Gabriella Guida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Melanoma cells develop adaptive responses in order to cope with particular conditions of tumor microenvironment, characterized by stress conditions and deregulated proliferation. Recently, the interplay between the stress response and the gene expression programs leading to metastatic spread has been reported. Methods: We evaluated levels and localization of eIF2α/peIF2α in V600BRAF and wtBRAF metastatic melanoma cell lines by means of western blot and confocal microscopy analyses. Furthermore, we performed a sequence analyses and structure and dynamics studies of eIF2α protein to reveal the role of eIF2α and its correlations in different pathways involved in the invasive phase of melanoma. Results: We found peIF2α both in cytoplasm and nucleus. Nuclear localization was more represented in V600BRAF melanoma cell lines. Our studies on eIF2α protein sequence indicated the presence of a predicted bipartite NLS as well as a nuclear export signal NES and an S1 domain, typical of RNA interacting proteins. Furthermore, we found high levels of transcription factor EB (TFEB), a component of the MiT/TFE family, and low β-catenin levels in V600BRAF cells. Conclusions: Based on our results, we suggest that peIF2α nuclear localization can be crucial in ER stress response and in driving the metastatic spread of melanoma, through lysosomal signaling and Wnt/β-catenin pathway. In conclusion, this is the first evidence of nuclear localization of peIF2α, representing a possible target for future therapeutic approaches for metastatic melanoma.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 11 2019


  • BRAF
  • eIF2α
  • Metastatic melanoma
  • MiT family
  • Nuclear peIF2α
  • Structural analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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