Researchers at McGill University have mouse data showing a causal link between eIF4E-mediated translational dysregulation and autism-related deficits. The group also corrected the dysregulation-and the associated autistic phenotype-with a small molecule.1
The McGill group, led by Nahum Sonenberg, has been studying the role of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) in protein synthesis for over three decades and has primarily focused on the factor's relevance in cancer. eIF4E binds to the cap structure on mRNA and helps to initiate the translation of the mRNA. Sonenberg is a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and at the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre at McGill.