Further evidence that ribavirin interacts with eIF4E
Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-4E
This commentary discusses the recent reports in RNA by Yan and colleagues and Westman and colleagues of the apparent failure of ribavirin to bind to recombinant eIF4E and inhibit 7-methyl guanosine cap-dependent exogenous mRNA translation of cell extracts in vitro. Measuring binding by using affinity chromatography of matrix-immobilized proteins and by using protein emission fluorescence spectroscopy in the presence of nucleotide ligands, as well as limitations of using cell extracts for the assessment of mechanisms of mRNA translation are discussed. Possible reasons for the discordant findings of Yan and colleagues and Westman and colleagues are suggested, and direct observation of the specific binding of ribavirin to eIF4E by using mass spectrometry is presented.