Halting a cellular production line

Responses to ribosomal pausing during translation

J Ross Buchan, Ian Stansfield

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

81 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cellular protein synthesis is a complex polymerization process carried out by multiple ribosomes translating individual mRNAs. The process must be responsive to rapidly changing conditions in the cell that could cause ribosomal pausing and queuing. In some circumstances, pausing of a bacterial ribosome can trigger translational abandonment via the process of trans-translation, mediated by tmRNA (transfer-messenger RNA) and endonucleases. Together, these factors release the ribosome from the mRNA and target the incomplete polypeptide for destruction. In eukaryotes, ribosomal pausing can initiate an analogous process carried out by the Dom34p and Hbs1p proteins, which trigger endonucleolytic attack of the mRNA, a process termed mRNA no-go decay. However, ribosomal pausing can also be employed for regulatory purposes, and controlled translational delays are used to help co-translational folding of the nascent polypeptide on the ribosome, as well as a tactic to delay translation of a protein while its encoding mRNA is being localized within the cell. However, other responses to pausing trigger ribosomal frameshift events. Recent discoveries are thus revealing a wide variety of mechanisms used to respond to translational pausing and thus regulate the flow of ribosomal traffic on the mRNA population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-487
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Volume99
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2007

Keywords

  • frameshifting
  • peptidyl-tRNA hydrolase
  • rilbosomal drop-off
  • ribosome
  • transfer-messenger RNA (tmRNA)
  • translation
  • peptidyl-transfer-RNA
  • open reading frame
  • S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase
  • operon leader region
  • ASH1 messenger-RNA
  • escherichia-coli ribosomes
  • synonymous codon choice
  • amino-acid starvation
  • in-vitro translation
  • tryptophan operon

Cite this

Halting a cellular production line : Responses to ribosomal pausing during translation. / Buchan, J Ross; Stansfield, Ian.

In: Molecular Biology of the Cell, Vol. 99, No. 9, 09.2007, p. 475-487.

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

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