Using antibodies to various nucleolar and ribosomal proteins, we define, by immunolocalization in situ, the distribution of nucleolar proteins in the different morphological nucleolar subcompartments. In the present study we describe the nucleolar localization of a specific ribosomal protein (S1) by immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy using a monoclonal antibody (RS1-105). In immunoblotting experiments, this antibody reacts specifically with the largest and most acidic protein of the small ribosomal subunit (S1) and shows wide interspecies cross-reactivity from amphibia to man. Beside its localization in cytoplasmic ribosomes, this protein is found to be specifically localized in the granular component of the nucleolus and in distinct granular aggregates scattered over the nucleoplasm. This indicates that ribosomal protein S1, in contrast to reports on other ribosomal proteins, is not bound to nascent pre-rRNA transcripts but attaches to preribosomes at later stages of rRNA processing and maturation. This protein is not detected in the residual nucleolar structures of cells inactive in rRNA synthesis such as amphibian and avian erythrocytes. During mitosis, the nucleolar material containing ribosomal protein S1 undergoes a remarkable transition and shows a distribution distinct from that of several other nucleolar proteins. In prophase, the nucleolus disintegrates and protein S1 appears in numerous small granules scattered throughout the prophase nucleus. During metaphase and anaphase, a considerable amount of this protein is found in association with the surfaces of all chromosomes and finely dispersed in the cell plasm. In telophase, protein S1-containing material reaccumulates in granular particles in the nucleoplasm of the newly formed nuclei and, finally, in the re-forming nucleoli. These observations indicate that the nucleolus-derived particles containing ribosomal protein S1 are different from cytoplasmic ribosomes and, in the living cell, are selectively recollected after mitosis into the newly formed nuclei and translocated into a specific nucleolar subcompartment, i.e., the granular component. The nucleolar location of ribosomal protein S1 and its rearrangement during mitosis is discussed in relation to the distribution of other nucleolar proteins.
Electrostatic potentials along the ribosomal exit tunnel are non-uniform and negative. The significance of electrostatics in the tunnel remains relatively uninvestigated, yet is likely to play a role in translation and secondary folding of nascent peptides. To probe the role of nascent peptide charges in ribosome function, we used a molecular tape measure that was engineered to contain different numbers of charged amino acids localized to known regions of the tunnel, and measured chain elongation rates. Positively-charged arginine or lysine sequences produce transient arrest (pausing) before the nascent peptide is fully elongated. The rate of conversion from transiently arrested to full-length nascent peptide is faster for peptides containing neutral or negatively-charged residues than for those containing positively-charged residues. We provide experimental evidence that extra-ribosomal mechanisms do not account for this charge-specific pausing. We conclude that pausing is due to charge-specific interactions between the tunnel and the nascent peptide.
electrostatics; translation; nascent peptide; peptide elongation; S4 transmembrane segment; Kv channels
The RPM2 gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae codes for a protein subunit of mitochondrial RNase P and has another unknown essential function. We previously demonstrated that Rpm2p localizes to the nucleus and acts as a transcriptional activator. Rpm2p influences the level of mRNAs that encode components of the mitochondrial import apparatus and essential mitochondrial chaperones. Evidence is presented here that Rpm2p interacts with Dcp2p, a subunit of mRNA decapping enzyme in the two-hybrid assay, and is enriched in cytoplasmic P bodies, the sites of mRNA degradation and storage in yeast and mammalian cells. When overexpressed, GFP-Rpm2p does not impact the number and size of P bodies; however, it prevents their disappearance when translation elongation is inhibited by cycloheximide. Proteasome mutants, ump1-2 and pre4-2, that bypass essential Rpm2p function, also stabilize P bodies. The stabilization of P bodies by Rpm2p may occur through reduced protein degradation since GFP-Rpm2p expressing cells have lower levels of ubiquitin. Genetic analysis revealed that overexpression of Dhh1p (a DEAD box helicase localized to P bodies) suppresses temperature-sensitive growth of the rpm2-100 mutant. Overexpression of Pab1p (a poly (A)-binding protein) also suppresses rpm2-100, suggesting that Rpm2p functions in at least two aspects of mRNA metabolism. The results presented here, and the transcriptional activation function demonstrated earlier, implicate Rpm2p as a coordinator of transcription and mRNA storage/decay in P bodies.
Newly synthesized proteins must form their native structures in the crowded environment of the cell, while avoiding non-native conformations that can lead to aggregation. Yet remarkably little is known about the progressive folding of polypeptide chains during chain synthesis by the ribosome, or of the influence of this folding environment on productive folding in vivo. P22 tailspike is a homotrimeric protein that is prone to aggregation via misfolding of its central β-helix domain in vitro. We have produced stalled ribosome:tailspike nascent chain complexes of four fixed lengths in vivo, in order to assess co-translational folding of newly synthesized tailspike chains as a function of chain length. Partially synthesized, ribosome-bound nascent tailspike chains populate stable conformations with some native-state structural features even prior to the appearance of the entire β-helix domain, regardless of the presence of the chaperone trigger factor, yet these conformations are distinct from the conformations of released, refolded tailspike truncations. These results suggest that organization of the aggregation-prone β-helix domain occurs co-translationally, prior to chain release, to a conformation that is distinct from the accessible energy minimum conformation for the truncated free chain in solution.
Paramyosin is a thick myofibrillar protein found exclusively in invertebrates. Evidence suggested that paramyosin from helminths serves not only as a structural protein but also as an immunomodulatory agent. We previously reported that recombinant Trichinella spiralis paramyosin (Ts-Pmy) elicited a partial protective immunity in mice. In this study, the ability of Ts-Pmy to bind host complement components and protect against host complement attack was investigated.
Methods and Findings
In this study, the transcriptional and protein expression levels of Ts-Pmy were determined in T. spiralis newborn larva (NBL), muscle larva (ML) and adult worm developmental stages by RT-PCR and western blot analysis. Expression of Ts-Pmy at the outer membrane was observed in NBL and adult worms using immunogold electron microscopy and immunofluorescence staining. Functional analysis revealed that recombinant Ts-Pmy(rTs-Pmy) strongly bound to complement components C8 and C9 and inhibited the polymerization of C9 during the formation of the membrane attack complex (MAC). rTs-Pmy also inhibited the lysis of rabbit erythrocytes (ER) elicited by an alternative pathway-activated complement from guinea pig serum. Inhibition of native Ts-Pmy on the surface of NBL with a specific antiserum reduced larvae viability when under the attack of complement in vitro. In vivo passive transfer of anti-Ts-Pmy antiserum and complement-treated larvae into mice also significantly reduced the number of larvae that developed to ML.
These studies suggest that the outer membrane form of T. spiralis paramyosin plays an important role in the evasion of the host complement attack.
Trichinellosis is a serious food borne parasitic disease caused by the consumption of meat contaminated with the infective larvae of Trichinella spiralis. The ability of the tissue-dwelling parasite to evade the host complement attack is essential for its survival and for establishing infection in the host. This study describes the expression of paramyosin, a muscular protein in invertebrates, on the surface of Trichinella spiralis and its role in the defense against the host complement attack as a survival strategy. Using a specific antiserum, expression of Trichinella spiralis paramyosin was detected on the outer membrane of the adult worms and newborn larvae. Functional analysis revealed that recombinant Trichinella spiralis paramyosin protein strongly bound human complement components C8 and C9 and inhibited the formation of the complement membrane attack complex. Neutralization with a specific antiserum greatly impaired the protective effect of paramyosin on the viability and infectivity of Trichinella spiralis newborn larva when under attack by complement. These studies suggest that the outer membrane form of Trichinella spiralis paramyosin plays an important role in the evasion of the host complement attack and is therefore a good target for vaccine and pharmaceutical development.
A structure of a ribosome stalled during translation of the SecM peptide provides insight into the mechanism by which the large subunit active site is inactivated.
As nascent polypeptide chains are synthesized, they pass through a tunnel in the large ribosomal subunit. Interaction between specific nascent chains and the ribosomal tunnel is used to induce translational stalling for the regulation of gene expression. One well-characterized example is the Escherichia coli SecM (secretion monitor) gene product, which induces stalling to up-regulate translation initiation of the downstream secA gene, which is needed for protein export. Although many of the key components of SecM and the ribosomal tunnel have been identified, understanding of the mechanism by which the peptidyl transferase center of the ribosome is inactivated has been lacking. Here we present a cryo-electron microscopy reconstruction of a SecM-stalled ribosome nascent chain complex at 5.6 Å. While no cascade of rRNA conformational changes is evident, this structure reveals the direct interaction between critical residues of SecM and the ribosomal tunnel. Moreover, a shift in the position of the tRNA–nascent peptide linkage of the SecM-tRNA provides a rationale for peptidyl transferase center silencing, conditional on the simultaneous presence of a Pro-tRNAPro in the ribosomal A-site. These results suggest a distinct allosteric mechanism of regulating translational elongation by the SecM stalling peptide.
In all cells, ribosomes perform the job of making proteins. As the proteins are synthesized they pass through a tunnel in the ribosome, and some growing proteins interact with the tunnel, leading to stalling of protein synthesis. Here, we used cryo-electron microscopy to determine the structure of a ribosome stalled during the translation of the Escherichia coli secretion monitor (SecM) polypeptide chain. The structure reveals the path of the SecM peptide through the tunnel as well as the sites of interaction with the tunnel components. Interestingly, the structure shows a shift in the position of the transfer RNA (tRNA) to which the growing SecM polypeptide chain is attached. Since peptide bond formation during protein synthesis requires precise placement of the substrates, namely, the peptidyl-tRNA and the incoming amino acyl-tRNA, it is proposed that this shift in the SecM-tRNA explains why peptide bond formation cannot occur and translation stalls.
The previously observed (Walter, et al. 1981 J. Cell Biol. 91:545-550)
inhibitory effect of SRP selectively on the cell-free translation of mRNA
for secretory protein (preprolactin) was shown here to be caused by a
signal sequence-induced and site-specific arrest in polypeptide chain
elongation. The Mr of the SRP-arrested nascent preprolactin chain was
estimated to be 8,000 corresponding to approximately 70 amino acid
residues. Because the signal sequence of preprolactin comprises 30 residues
and because approximately 40 residues of the nascent chain are buried
(protected from protease) in the large ribosomal subunit, we conclude that
it is the interaction of SRP with the amino-terminal signal peptide of the
nascent chain (emerged from the large ribosomal subunit) that modulates
translation and thereby causes an arrest in chain elongation. This arrest
is released upon SRP-mediated binding of the elongation-arrested ribosomes
to the microsomal membrane, resulting in chain completion and translocation
into the microsomal vesicle.
Membrane proteins destined for insertion into the inner membrane of bacteria or the endoplasmic reticulum membrane in eukaryotic cells are synthesized by ribosomes bound to the bacterial SecYEG or the homologous eukaryotic Sec61 translocon. During co-translational membrane integration, transmembrane α-helical segments in the nascent chain exit the translocon via a lateral gate that opens towards the surrounding membrane, but the mechanism of lateral exit is not well understood. In particular, little is known about how a transmembrane helix behaves when entering and exiting the translocon. Using translation-arrest peptides from bacterial SecM proteins and from the mammalian Xbp1 protein as force sensors, we show that substantial force is exerted on a transmembrane helix at two distinct points during its transit through the translocon channel, providing direct insight into the dynamics of membrane integration.
membrane protein; Sec translocon; SecM, Xbp1, translation arrest; transmembrane helix; membrane integration
Expression of the Escherichia coli tryptophanase operon depends upon ribosome stalling during translation of the upstream TnaC leader peptide, a process for which interactions between the TnaC nascent chain and the ribosomal exit tunnel are critical. We determined a 5.8 Å resolution cryo-electron microscopy and single particle reconstruction of a ribosome stalled during translation of the tnaC leader gene. The nascent chain was extended within the exit tunnel, making contacts with ribosomal components at distinct sites. Upon stalling, two conserved residues within the peptidyltransferase center adopted conformations that preclude binding of release factors. We propose a model whereby interactions within the tunnel are relayed to the peptidyltransferase center to inhibit translation. Moreover, we show that nascent chains adopt distinct conformations within the ribosomal exit tunnel.
Regulatory nascent chains interact with the ribosomal exit tunnel and modulate their own translation. To characterize nascent chain recognition by the ribosome at the atomic level, extensive molecular dynamics simulations of TnaC, the leader peptide of the tryptophanase operon, inside the exit tunnel were performed for an aggregate time of 2.1 μs. The simulations, complemented by quantum chemistry calculations, suggest that the critical TnaC residue W12 is recognized by the ribosome via a cation-π interaction, whereas TnaC's D16 forms salt bridges with ribosomal proteins. The simulations also show that TnaC-mediated translational arrest does not involve a swinging of ribosomal protein L22, as previously proposed. Furthermore, bioinformatic analyses and simulations suggest nascent chain elements which may prevent translational arrest in various organisms. Altogether, the current study unveils atomic-detail interactions that explain the role of elements of TnaC and the ribosome essential for translational arrest.
As newly synthesized proteins emerge from the ribosome, they interact with a variety of co-translational cellular machineries that facilitate their proper folding, maturation and localization. These interactions are essential for proper function of the cell and the ability to study these events is crucial to understanding cellular protein biogenesis. To this end, we have developed a highly efficient method to generate ribosome nascent chain complexes (RNC) site-specifically labeled with a fluorescent dye on the nascent polypeptide. The fluorescent RNC provided real-time, quantitative information on its co-translational interaction with the Signal Recognition Particle and will be a valuable tool in elucidating the role of the translating ribosome in numerous biochemical pathways.
Very little is known about the conformation of polypeptides emerging from the ribosome during protein biosynthesis. Here, we explore the dynamics of ribosome-bound nascent polypeptides and proteins in Escherichia coli by dynamic fluorescence depolarization, and assess the population of cotranslationally active chaperones trigger factor (TF) and DnaK. E. coli cell-free technology and fluorophore-linked E. coli Met-tRNAfMet enable selective site-specific labeling of nascent proteins at N-terminal methionine. For the first time, direct spectroscopic evidence captures the generation of independent nascent chain motions for a single-domain protein emerging from the ribosome (apparent rotational correlation time ca. 5 ns), during the intermediate and late stages of polypeptide elongation. Such motions are only detected for a sequence encoding a globular protein but not for a natively unfolded control, suggesting that the independent nascent chain dynamics may be a signature of folding-competent sequences. In summary, we observe multi-component, severely rotationally restricted and strongly chain length/sequence-dependent nascent chain dynamics.
Ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis can initiate at ribosomes for myriad reasons including misfolding of a nascent chain or stalling of the ribosome during translation of mRNA. Clearance of a stalled complex is required to recycle the ribosome for future use. Here we show that the ubiquitin (Ub) pathway segregase Cdc48/p97 and its adaptors Ufd1-Npl4 participate in ribosome-associated degradation (RAD) by mediating the clearance of ubiquitinated, tRNA-linked nascent peptides from ribosomes. Through characterization of both endogenously-generated and heterologous model substrates for the RAD pathway, we conclude that budding yeast Cdc48 functions downstream of the Ub ligases Ltn1 and Ubr1 to release nascent proteins from the ribosome so that they can be degraded by the proteasome. Defective RAD could contribute to the pathophysiology of human diseases caused by mutations in p97.
Ribosomes are complex molecular machines that translate the sequence of bases in a messenger RNA (mRNA) transcript into a polypeptide that subsequently folds to form a protein. Each ribosome is composed of two major subunits: the small subunit reads the mRNA transcript, and the large subunit joins amino acids together to form the polypeptide. This process stops when the ribosome encounters a stop codon and releases the completed polypeptide.
It is critical that cells perform some form of quality control on the polypeptides as they are translated to prevent a build up of incomplete, incorrect or toxic proteins in cells. Problems can occur if a ribosome stalls while translating the mRNA transcript, or if the mRNA transcript is defective. For example, most mRNA transcripts contain a stop codon, but some do not, and these non-stop mRNA transcripts result in a non-stop polypeptide that remains tethered to the ribosome. It is important that the cell identifies and removes these faulty polypeptides so as to leave the ribosome free to translate other (non-faulty) mRNA transcripts. A regulatory protein called ubiquitin is responsible for marking and sending proteins that are faulty, or are no longer needed by the cell, to a molecular machine called the proteasome, where they are degraded by a process called proteolysis. In 2010 researchers identified Ltn1 as the enzyme that attaches ubiquitin to non-stop proteins in yeast.
Now, building on this work, Verma et al. identify additional proteins involved in this process. In particular, an ATPase enzyme called Cdc48 (known as p97 or VCP in human cells) and two co-factors—Ufd1 and Npl4—promote release of the ubiquitinated non-stop polypeptides from the ribosomes, thus committing the marked polypeptide to destruction by the proteasome. Verma et al. also show that the Cdc48-Ufd1-Npl4 complex is involved in other aspects of quality control of newly synthesized proteins within cells. Collectively these processes are known as ribosome-associated degradation.
Mutations of the gene that codes for human p97 can cause a number of diseases, including Paget's disease of the bone and frontotemporal dementia, so an improved understanding of ribosome-associated degradation could provide new insights into these diseases.
ubiquitin; ribosome; Cdc48; S. cerevisiae
Ribosomes synthesizing nascent secretory proteins are targeted to the membrane by the signal recognition particle (SRP), a small ribonucleoprotein that binds to the signal peptide as it emerges from the ribosome. SRP arrests further elongation, causing ribosomes to stack behind the arrested ribosome. Upon interaction of SRP with its receptor on the ER membrane, the translation arrest is released and the ribosome becomes bound to the ER membrane. We have examined the distribution of unattached and membrane-bound ribosomes during the translation of mRNAs encoding two secretory proteins, bovine preprolactin and rat preproinsulin I. We find that the enhancement of ribosome stacking that occurs when SRP arrests translation of these proteins is relaxed in the presence of microsomal membranes. We also demonstrate that two previously described populations of membrane- associated ribosomes, distinguished by their sensitivity to high salt or EDTA extraction, correspond to ribosomes that have synthesized differing lengths of the nascent polypeptide. This analysis has revealed that nascent chain insertion into the membrane begins at distinct points for different presecretory proteins.
The eukaryotic chaperonin tailless complex polypeptide 1 (TCP1) ring complex (TRiC) (also called chaperonin containing TCP1 [CCT]) is a hetero-oligomeric complex that facilitates the proper folding of many cellular proteins. To better understand the manner in which TRiC interacts with newly translated polypeptides, we examined its association with nascent chains using a photo-cross-linking approach. To this end, a series of ribosome-bound nascent chains of defined lengths was prepared using truncated mRNAs. Photoactivatable probes were incorporated into these 35S- labeled nascent chains during translation. Upon photolysis, TRiC was cross-linked to ribosome-bound polypeptides exposing at least 50–90 amino acids outside the ribosomal exit channel, indicating that the chaperonin associates with much shorter nascent chains than indicated by previous studies. Cross-links were observed for nascent chains of the cytosolic proteins actin, luciferase, and enolase, but not to ribosome-bound preprolactin. The pattern of cross-links became more complex as the nascent chain increased in length. These results suggest a chain length–dependent increase in the number of TRiC subunits involved in the interaction that is consistent with the idea that the substrate participates in subunit-specific contacts with the chaperonin. Both ribosome isolation by centrifugation through sucrose cushions and immunoprecipitation with anti-puromycin antibodies demonstrated that the photoadducts form on ribosome-bound polypeptides. Our results indicate that TRiC/CCT associates with the translating polypeptide shortly after it emerges from the ribosome and suggest a close association between the chaperonin and the translational apparatus.
protein folding; actin; luciferase; translation; chaperonin
Although we have numerous structures of ribosomes, none disclose side-chain rearrangements of the nascent peptide during chain elongation. This study reports for the first time that rearrangement of the peptide and/or tunnel occurs in distinct regions of the tunnel and is directed by the unique primary sequence of each nascent peptide. In the tunnel mid-region, the accessibility of an introduced cysteine to a series of novel hydrophilic maleimide reagents increases with increasing volume of the adjacent chain residue, a sensitivity not manifest at the constriction and exit port. This surprising result reveals molecular movements not yet resolvable from structural studies. These findings map solvent accessible volumes along the tunnel and provide novel insights critical to our understanding of allosteric communication within the ribosomal tunnel, translational arrest, chaperone interaction, folding, and rates of elongation.
cysteine accessibility; ribosomal-nascent peptide interactions; translation; allosteric rearrangements; solvent accessible volumes
Polypeptides exiting the ribosome must fold and assemble in the crowded environment of the cell. Chaperones and other protein homeostasis factors interact with newly translated polypeptides to facilitate their folding and correct localization. Despite the extensive efforts, little is known about the specificity of the chaperones and other factors that bind nascent polypeptides. To address this question we present an approach that systematically identifies cotranslational chaperone substrates through the mRNAs associated with ribosome-nascent chain-chaperone complexes. We here focused on two Saccharomyces cerevisiae chaperones: the Signal Recognition Particle (SRP), which acts cotranslationally to target proteins to the ER, and the Nascent chain Associated Complex (NAC), whose function has been elusive. Our results provide new insights into SRP selectivity and reveal that NAC is a general cotranslational chaperone. We found surprising differential substrate specificity for the three subunits of NAC, which appear to recognize distinct features within nascent chains. Our results also revealed a partial overlap between the sets of nascent polypeptides that interact with NAC and SRP, respectively, and showed that NAC modulates SRP specificity and fidelity in vivo. These findings give us new insight into the dynamic interplay of chaperones acting on nascent chains. The strategy we used should be generally applicable to mapping the specificity, interplay, and dynamics of the cotranslational protein homeostasis network.
In every cell, ribosomes translate the genetic instructions carried by messenger RNAs into the proteins they encode. Molecular midwives called chaperones often bind to nascent protein chains as they emerge from the ribosome to help them fold. Very little is known about this process. Do all proteins need chaperone assistance as they exit the ribosome? Do different chaperones recognize different polypeptide chains and, if so, how? Answering these questions has been hard because most studies have examined only a handful of model proteins and their interactions with a specific chaperone. Here, we used a systematic approach to investigate the challenging question of chaperone specificity in living cells. We isolated specific chaperones that interact with nascent proteins during translation along with the ribosomes and associated mRNAs encoding the emerging proteins. We then used DNA microarrays to identify the full suite of mRNAs and thus the encoded proteins that interact cotranslationally with each of these factors. We learned from these studies that individual chaperones interact with a specific set of nascent proteins. Furthermore, overlapping specificity enables one chaperone to modulate the specificity and fidelity of another. The picture that emerges suggests that these molecular midwives are an important part of the intricate systems that maintain specificity, precision, and efficiency in expressing the genome's instructions.
La is a RNA-binding protein implicated in multiple pathways related to the production of tRNAs, ribosomal proteins, and other components of the translational machinery (D. J. Kenan and J. D. Keene, Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 11:303-305, 2004). While most La is phosphorylated and resides in the nucleoplasm, a fraction is in the nucleolus, the site of ribosome production, although the determinants of this localization are incompletely known. In addition to its conserved N-terminal domain, human La harbors a C-terminal domain that contains an atypical RNA recognition motif and a short basic motif (SBM) adjacent to phosphoserine-366. We report that nonphosphorylated La (npLa) is concentrated in nucleolar sites that correspond to the dense fibrillar component that harbors nascent pol I transcripts as well as fibrillarin and nucleolin, which function in early phases of rRNA maturation. Affinity purification and native immunoprecipitation of La and fluorescence resonance energy transfer in the nucleolus reveal close association with nucleolin. Moreover, La lacking the SBM does not localize to nucleoli. Lastly, La exhibits SBM-dependent, phosphorylation-sensitive interaction with nucleolin in a yeast two-hybrid assay. The data suggest that interaction with nucleolin is, at least in part, responsible for nucleolar accumulation of La and that npLa may be involved in ribosome biogenesis.
In vitro transcription/translation of actin cDNA and analysis of the translation products by native-PAGE was used to study the maturation pathway of actin. During the course of actin synthesis, several distinct actin-containing species were observed and the composition of each determined by immunological procedures. After synthesis of the first ∼145 amino acids, the nascent ribosome-associated actin chain binds to the recently identified heteromeric chaperone protein, prefoldin (PFD). PFD remains bound to the relatively unfolded actin polypeptide until its posttranslational delivery to cytosolic chaperonin (CCT). We show that α- and β-tubulin follow a similar maturation pathway, but to date find no evidence for an interaction between PFD and several noncytoskeletal proteins. We conclude that PFD functions by selectively targeting nascent actin and tubulin chains pending their transfer to CCT for final folding and/or assembly.
protein folding; molecular chaperones; cytoskeletal proteins; protein synthesis; actin; tubulin
Fractionation of MOPC 41 DL-1 tumors revealed that the mRNA for the light chain of immunoglobulin is localized exclusively in membrane- bound ribosomes. It was shown that the translation product of isolated light chain mRNA in a heterologous protein-synthesizing system in vitro is larger than the authentic secreted light chain; this confirms similar results from several laboratories. The synthesis in vitro of a precursor protein of the light chain is not an artifact of translation in a heterologous system, because it was shown that detached polysomes, isolated from detergent-treated rough microsomes, not only contain nascent light chains which have already been proteolytically processed in vivo but also contain unprocessed nascent light chains. In vitro completion of these nascent light chains thus resulted in the synthesis of some chains having the same mol wt as the authentic secreted light chains, because of completion of in vivo proteolytically processed chains and of other chains which, due to the completion of unprocessed chains, have the same mol wt as the precursor of the light chain. In contrast, completion of the nascent light chains contained in rough microsomes resulted in the synthesis of only processed light chains. Taken together, these results indicate that the processing activity is present in isolated rough microsomes, that it is localized in the membrane moiety of rough microsomes, and, therefore, that it was most likely solubilized during detergent treatment used for the isolation of detached polysomes. Furthermore, these results established that processing in vivo takes place before completion of the nascent chain. The data also indicate that in vitro processing of nascent chains by rough microsomes is dependent on ribosome binding to the membrane. If the latter process is interfered with by aurintricarboxylic acid, rough microsomes also synthesize some unprocessed chains. The data presented in this paper have been interpreted in the light of a recently proposed hypothesis. This hypothesis, referred to as the signal hypothesis, is described in greater detail in the Discussion section.
Nucleoli are the prominent contrasted structures of the cell nucleus. In the nucleolus, ribosomal RNAs are synthesized, processed and assembled with ribosomal proteins. RNA polymerase I synthesizes the ribosomal RNAs and this activity is cell cycle regulated. The nucleolus reveals the functional organization of the nucleus in which the compartmentation of the different steps of ribosome biogenesis is observed whereas the nucleolar machineries are in permanent exchange with the nucleoplasm and other nuclear bodies. After mitosis, nucleolar assembly is a time and space regulated process controlled by the cell cycle. In addition, by generating a large volume in the nucleus with apparently no RNA polymerase II activity, the nucleolus creates a domain of retention/sequestration of molecules normally active outside the nucleolus. Viruses interact with the nucleolus and recruit nucleolar proteins to facilitate virus replication. The nucleolus is also a sensor of stress due to the redistribution of the ribosomal proteins in the nucleoplasm by nucleolus disruption. The nucleolus plays several crucial functions in the nucleus: in addition to its function as ribosome factory of the cells it is a multifunctional nuclear domain, and nucleolar activity is linked with several pathologies. Perspectives on the evolution of this research area are proposed.
Nucleolus; Cell cycle control; Assembly; Dynamics; Nucleolar structure; PNB; Virus; Cancer
The ubiquitous SecY/Sec61–complex translocates nascent secretory proteins across cellular membranes and integrates membrane proteins into lipid bilayers. Several structures of mostly detergent solubilized Sec–complexes have been reported. Here, we present a single–particle cryo–electron microscopy structure of the SecYEG complex in a membrane environment at sub–nanometer resolution, bound to a translating ribosome. Using the SecYEG complex reconstituted in a so–called Nanodisc, we could trace the nascent polypeptide chain from the peptidyl transferase center into the membrane. The reconstruction allowed for the identification of ribosome–lipid interactions. The rRNA helix 59 (H59) directly contacts the lipid surface and appears to modulate the membrane in immediate vicinity to the proposed lateral gate of the PCC. Based on our map and molecular dynamics simulations we present a model of a signal anchor–gated PCC in the membrane.
Ribosome assembly in eukaryotes requires approximately 200 essential assembly factors (AFs), and occurs via ordered events that initiate in the nucleolus and culminate in the cytoplasm. Here we present the cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structure of a late cytoplasmic 40S ribosome assembly intermediate from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The positions of bound AFs were defined using cryo-EM reconstructions of pre-ribosomal complexes lacking individual components. All seven AFs are positioned to prevent each step in the translation initiation pathway by obstructing the binding sites for initiation factors, by preventing the opening of the mRNA channel, by blocking 60S subunit joining, and by disrupting the decoding site. We suggest that these highly redundant mechanisms ensure that pre-40S particles do not enter the translation pathway, which would result in their rapid degradation. Implications for the regulation of 40S maturation are also discussed.
When cells are observed by phase contrast microscopy, nucleoli are among the most conspicuous structures. The nucleolus was formally described between 1835 and 1839, but it was another century before it was discovered to be associated with a specific chromosomal locus, thus defining it as a cytogenetic entity. Nucleoli were first isolated in the 1950s, from starfish oocytes. Then, in the early 1960s, a boomlet of studies led to one of the epochal discoveries in the modern era of genetics and cell biology: that the nucleolus is the site of ribosomal RNA synthesis and nascent ribosome assembly. This epistemologically repositioned the nucleolus as not merely an aspect of nuclear anatomy but rather as a cytological manifestation of gene action—a major heuristic advance. Indeed, the finding that the nucleolus is the seat of ribosome production constitutes one of the most vivid confluences of form and function in the history of cell biology. This account presents the nucleolus in both historical and contemporary perspectives. The modern era has brought the unanticipated discovery that the nucleolus is plurifunctional, constituting a paradigm shift.
Nucleoli are associated with specific DNA loci and act as sites for rRNA synthesis and nascent ribosome assembly. They also harbor numerous cell-cycle regulators and have been tantalizingly linked with stem cell biology.
The microtubule motor Eg5 is well known for its functions during mitosis. It is shown that during interphase, Eg5 associates with ribosomes and is required for efficient protein synthesis.
The kinesin-related molecular motor Eg5 plays roles in cell division, promoting spindle assembly. We show that during interphase Eg5 is associated with ribosomes and is required for optimal nascent polypeptide synthesis. When Eg5 was inhibited, ribosomes no longer bound to microtubules in vitro, ribosome transit rates slowed, and polysomes accumulated in intact cells, suggesting defects in elongation or termination during polypeptide synthesis. These results demonstrate that the molecular motor Eg5 associates with ribosomes and enhances the efficiency of translation.