Suppression of MEHMO Syndrome Mutation in eIF2 by Small Molecule ISRIB

Sara K. Young-Baird, Maíra Bertolessi Lourenço, Megan K. Elder, Eric Klann, Stefan Liebau, Thomas E. Dever

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dysregulation of cellular protein synthesis is linked to a variety of diseases. Mutations in EIF2S3, encoding the γ subunit of the heterotrimeric eukaryotic translation initiation factor eIF2, cause MEHMO syndrome, an X-linked intellectual disability disorder. Here, using patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells, we show that a mutation at the C terminus of eIF2γ impairs CDC123 promotion of eIF2 complex formation and decreases the level of eIF2-GTP-Met-tRNAi Met ternary complexes. This reduction in eIF2 activity results in dysregulation of global and gene-specific protein synthesis and enhances cell death upon stress induction. Addition of the drug ISRIB, an activator of the eIF2 guanine nucleotide exchange factor, rescues the cell growth, translation, and neuronal differentiation defects associated with the EIF2S3 mutation, offering the possibility of therapeutic intervention for MEHMO syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)875-886.e7
JournalMolecular Cell
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 20 2020


  • ATF4
  • CDC123
  • CHOP
  • GADD34
  • MEHMO syndrome
  • X-linked intellectual disability
  • eIF2
  • eIF2B
  • integrated stress response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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