ARTICLE ABSTRACTThe MYC oncoprotein is activated in a broad spectrum of human malignancies and transcriptionally reprograms the genome to drive cancer cell growth. Given this, it is unclear if targeting a single effector of MYC will have therapeutic benefit. MYC activates the polyamine–hypusine circuit, which posttranslationally modifies the eukaryotic translation factor eIF5A. The roles of this circuit in cancer are unclear. Here we report essential intrinsic roles for hypusinated eIF5A in the development and maintenance of MYC-driven lymphoma, where the loss of eIF5A hypusination abolishes malignant transformation of MYC-overexpressing B cells. Mechanistically, integrating RNA sequencing, ribosome sequencing, and proteomic analyses revealed that efficient translation of select targets is dependent upon eIF5A hypusination, including regulators of G1–S phase cell-cycle progression and DNA replication. This circuit thus controls MYC's proliferative response, and it is also activated across multiple malignancies. These findings suggest the hypusine circuit as a therapeutic target for several human tumor types.
Elevated EIF5A and the polyamine–hypusine circuit are manifest in many malignancies, including MYC-driven tumors, and eIF5A hypusination is necessary for MYC proliferative signaling. Notably, this circuit controls an oncogenic translational program essential for the development and maintenance of MYC-driven lymphoma, supporting this axis as a target for cancer prevention and treatment.See related commentary by Wilson and Klein, p. 248.This article is highlighted in the In This Issue feature, p. 247