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When eukaryotic cells respond to stress, gene expression pathways change to selectively export and translate subsets of mRNAs. Translationally repressed mRNAs accumulate in cytoplasmic foci known as stress granules (SGs). SGs are in dynamic equilibrium with the translational machinery, but mechanisms controlling this are unclear. Gle1 is required for DEAD-box protein function during mRNA export and translation. We document that human Gle1 (hGle1) is a critical regulator of translation during stress. hGle1 is recruited to SGs, and hGLE1 small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown perturbs SG assembly, resulting in increased numbers of smaller SGs. The rate of SG disassembly is also delayed. Furthermore, SG hGle1-depletion defects correlate with translation perturbations, and the hGle1 role in SGs is independent of mRNA export. Interestingly, we observe isoform-specific roles for hGle1 in which SG function requires hGle1A, whereas mRNA export requires hGle1B. We find that the SG defects in hGle1-depleted cells are rescued by puromycin or DDX3 expression. Together with recent links of hGLE1 mutations in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients, these results uncover a paradigm for hGle1A modulating the balance between translation and SGs during stress and disease.
© 2015 Aditi et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).