In eukaryotic cells, stressors reprogram the cellular proteome by activating the integrated stress response (ISR). In its canonical form, stress-sensing kinases phosphorylate the eukaryotic translation initiation factor eIF2 (eIF2-P), which ultimately leads to reduced levels of ternary complex required for initiation of mRNA translation. Previously we showed that translational control is primarily exerted through a conformational switch in eIF2’s nucleotide exchange factor, eIF2B, which shifts from its active A-State conformation to its inhibited I-State conformation upon eIF2-P binding, resulting in reduced nucleotide exchange on eIF2 (Schoof et al. 2021). Here, we show functionally and structurally how a single histidine to aspartate point mutation in eIF2B’s β subunit (H160D) mimics the effects of eIF2-P binding by promoting an I-State like conformation, resulting in eIF2-P independent activation of the ISR. These findings corroborate our previously proposed A/I-State model of allosteric ISR regulation.