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RNA (New York, N.Y.)

Translation of CGA codon repeats in yeast involves quality control components and ribosomal protein L1.


PMID 23825054

Abstract

Translation of CGA codon repeats in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is inefficient, resulting in dose-dependent reduction in expression and in production of an mRNA cleavage product, indicative of a stalled ribosome. Here, we use genetics and translation inhibitors to understand how ribosomes respond to CGA repeats. We find that CGA codon repeats result in a truncated polypeptide that is targeted for degradation by Ltn1, an E3 ubiquitin ligase involved in nonstop decay, although deletion of LTN1 does not improve expression downstream from CGA repeats. Expression downstream from CGA codons at residue 318, but not at residue 4, is improved by deletion of either ASC1 or HEL2, previously implicated in inhibition of translation by polybasic sequences. Thus, translation of CGA repeats likely causes ribosomes to stall and exploits known quality control systems. Expression downstream from CGA repeats at amino acid 4 is improved by paromomycin, an aminoglycoside that relaxes decoding specificity. Paromomycin has no effect if native tRNA(Arg(ICG)) is highly expressed, consistent with the idea that failure to efficiently decode CGA codons might occur in part due to rejection of the cognate tRNA(Arg(ICG)). Furthermore, expression downstream from CGA repeats is improved by inactivation of RPL1B, one of two genes encoding the universally conserved ribosomal protein L1. The effects of rpl1b-Δ and of either paromomycin or tRNA(Arg(ICG)) on CGA decoding are additive, suggesting that the rpl1b-Δ mutant suppresses CGA inhibition by means other than increased acceptance of tRNA(Arg(ICG)). Thus, inefficient decoding of CGA likely involves at least two independent defects in translation.

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