Increased cap-dependent mRNA translation rates are frequently observed in human cancers. Mechanistically, many human tumors often overexpress the cap binding protein eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E), leading to enhanced translation of numerous tumor-promoting genes. In this issue of the JCI, Graff and colleagues describe potent antitumor effects using second-generation antisense oligonucleotides for eIF4E (see the related article beginning on page 2638). If their results are recapitulated in a clinical setting, this strategy will provide a promising antitumor therapy with broad-reaching applications.
Bryan C. Barnhart, M. Celeste Simon