Defining the protein complexome of translation termination factor eRF1: Identification of four novel eRF1-containing complexes that range from 20S to 57S in size


The eukaryotic eRF1 translation termination factor plays an important role in recognizing stop codons and initiating the end to translation. However, which exact complexes contain eRF1 and at what abundance is not clear. We have used analytical ultracentrifugation with fluorescent detection system to identify the protein complexome of eRF1 in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In addition to eRF1 presence in translating polysomes, we found that eRF1 associated with five other macromolecular complexes: 77S, 57S, 39S, 28S, and 20S in size. Generally equal abundances of each of these complexes were found. The 77S complex primarily contained the free 80S ribosome consistent with in vitro studies and did not appear to contain significant levels of the monosomal translating complex that co‐migrates with the free 80S ribosome. The 57S and 39S complexes represented, respectively, free 60S and 40S ribosomal subunits bound to eRF1, associations not previously reported. The novel 28S and 20S complexes (containing minimal masses of 830 KDa and 500 KDa, respectively) lacked significant RNA components and appeared to be oligomeric, as eRF1 has a mass of 49 KDa. The majority of polysomal complexes containing eRF1 were both substantially deadenylated and lacking in closed‐loop factors eIF4E and eIF4G. The thirteen percent of such translating polysomes that contained poly(A) tails had equivalent levels of eIF4E and eIF4G, suggesting these complexes were in a closed‐loop structure. The identification of eRF1 in these unique and previously unrecognized complexes suggests a variety of new roles for eRF1 in the regulation of cellular processes.


Molecular, Cellular and Biomedical Sciences

Publication Date


Journal Title

Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics



Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Document Type