How TOR protein kinase controls global protein synthesis in plants

Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) regulates global protein synthesis in response to nutrient and energy availability through inactivation of eIF4E-binding proteins (4E-BPs), known to be suppressors of translation initiation. Until now, 4E-BPs have been considered as metazoan inventions, and how TOR controls cap-dependent translation initiation in plants was not known. A study published in Cell Reports presents atypical 4E-BP-like proteins in Arabidopsis that function as translation suppressors under tight control of TOR. This study elucidates how TOR regulates global translation via 4E-BP inactivation in response to Glc/Suc and auxin.