Eur J Clin Invest 2011; 41 (3): 269–276
Background The signalling role of individual subunits released from some stable translation multi-molecular complexes under unfavourable circumstances is known. The disease-related role of the translation elongation factor 1 complex (eEF1) as a whole is never researched; however, its subunits possess apparent regulatory potency. Whether the individual eEF1 subunits can exist and function in cell beyond the complex is not known.
Materials and methods The protein and mRNA levels of the A1, Bα, Bβ or Bγ subunits of eEF1 were analysed by Western and Northern blot techniques in the same specimens of cardioesophageal carcinoma and correspondingly paired normal tissues. Cancer-induced changes in localization patterns of the eEF1 subunits were examined immunohistochemically.
Results Changes in different eEF1 subunits expression were found to be unbalanced, indicating cancer-related emergence of individual components of the eEF1 complex. Independent overexpression of at least one eEF1 component was observed in 72% clinical samples. Noncomplexed eEF1B subunits were also detected by immunohistochemical analysis. In the normal tissue, localization of the Bα, Bβ and Bγ subunits was nuclear–cytoplasmic while in the cancer tissue the only Bγ subunit stayed in nucleus.
Conclusions Our data are first to indicate that the individual subunits can exist separately from the eEF1B complex in cancer tissues and that disintegration of eEF1B could be an important sign of cancer development. Nuclear localization of Bγ both in normal and in cancer tissues suggests its previously unknown nucleus-specific role in human cells.