TBL2 Is a Novel PERK-Binding Protein that Modulates Stress-Signaling and Cell Survival during Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress
Under ER stress, PKR-like ER-resident kinase (PERK) phosphorylates translation initiation factor eIF2α, resulting in repression of global protein synthesis and concomitant upregulation of the translation of specific mRNAs such as activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4). This PERK function is important for cell survival under ER stress and poor nutrient conditions. However, mechanisms of the PERK signaling pathway are not thoroughly understood. Here we identify transducin (beta)-like 2 (TBL2) as a novel PERK-binding protein. We found that TBL2 is an ER-localized type-I transmembrane protein and preferentially binds to the phosphorylated form of PERK, but not another eIF2α kinase GCN2 or ER-resident kinase IRE1, under ER stress. Immunoprecipitation analysis using various deletion mutants revealed that TBL2 interacts with PERK via the N-terminus proximal region and also associates with eIF2α via the WD40 domain. In addition, TBL2 knockdown can lead to impaired ATF4 induction under ER stress or poor nutrient conditions such as glucose and oxygen deprivation. Consistently, TBL2 knockdown rendered cells vulnerable to stresses similarly to PERK knockdown. Thus, TBL2 serves as a potential regulator of the PERK pathway.