Two Isoforms of EIF-5A in Chick Embryo. Isolation, Activity, and Comparison of Sequences of the Hypusine-Containing Proteins.

Document Type


Publication Title

Journal of Biological Chemistry

Publication Date



Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A (eIF-5A) (older terminology, eIF-4D) is unique in that it contains the unusual amino acid hypusine (N epsilon-(4-amino-2-hydroxybutyl)lysine). Hypusine is formed by a post-translational event in which a specific lysine residue is modified by a structural contribution from spermidine. Metabolic labeling of chick embryo fibroblasts with [3H]spermidine or [3H]lysine gives rise to two distinct proteins, designated I (approximately 20 kDa and pI 5.6) and II (approximately 18 kDa and pI 5.35), that contain [3H]hypusine. Upon incubation with [3H]lysine the labeling of the two proteins followed a similar time course and showed approximately the same ratio over the 6-h incubation period. [3H]Hypusine-containing proteins from cells which had been cultured with [3H]spermidine were employed as tracers for isolation of hypusine-containing proteins from whole chick embryos. Four such proteins were obtained. Two of these proteins, I and II, correspond to the two native proteins synthesized in chick embryo fibroblasts; the other two forms, Ia and IIa, displayed properties suggesting that they were derived from the native proteins, I and II, respectively, during purification. The amino acid compositions and the tryptic peptide maps of the 20-kDa protein (I) and the 18 kDa protein (II) suggest that they are closely related but distinct proteins. In fact, amino acid sequence analysis of the two major proteins revealed differences in the polypeptide backbone of the two proteins. In spite of structural differences, the two native forms (I and II), as well as the two altered forms (Ia and IIa), were effective in stimulating methionyl-puromycin synthesis, providing evidence that they are indeed functional isoforms of eIF-5A.


This article was originally published as Wolff, E.C., Kinzy, T.G., Merrick, W.C. and Park, M.H., (1992) Two Isoforms of eIF-5A in Chick Embryo, J. Biol. Chem., 267, 6107-6113. PMID: 1556119