Binding of ISRIB reveals a regulatory site in the nucleotide exchange factor eIF2B.

04 Apr 2018

The integrated stress response (ISR) is a conserved translational and transcriptional program affecting metabolism, memory, and immunity. The ISR is mediated by stress-induced phosphorylation of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α (eIF2α) that attenuates the guanine nucleotide exchange factor eIF2B. A chemical inhibitor of the ISR, ISRIB, reverses the attenuation of eIF2B by phosphorylated eIF2α, protecting mice from neurodegeneration and traumatic brain injury. We describe a 4.1-angstrom-resolution cryo-electron microscopy structure of human eIF2B with an ISRIB molecule bound at the interface between the β and δ regulatory subunits. Mutagenesis of residues lining this pocket altered the hierarchical cellular response to ISRIB analogs in vivo and ISRIB binding in vitro. Our findings point to a site in eIF2B that can be exploited by ISRIB to regulate translation.