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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Protein synthesis is a highly efficient process and is under exacting control. Yet, the actual abundance of translation factors present in translating complexes and how these abundances change during the transit of a ribosome across an mRNA remains unknown. Using analytical ultracentrifugation with fluorescent detection we have determined the stoichiometry of the closed-loop translation factors for translating ribosomes. A variety of pools of translating polysomes and monosomes were identified, each containing different abundances of the closed-loop factors eIF4E, eIF4G, and PAB1 and that of the translational repressor, SBP1. We establish that closed-loop factors eIF4E/eIF4G dissociated both as ribosomes transited polyadenylated mRNA from initiation to elongation and as translation changed from the polysomal to monosomal state prior to cessation of translation. eIF4G was found to particularly dissociate from polyadenylated mRNA as polysomes moved to the monosomal state, suggesting an active role for translational repressors in this process. Consistent with this suggestion, translating complexes generally did not simultaneously contain eIF4E/eIF4G and SBP1, implying mutual exclusivity in such complexes. For substantially deadenylated mRNA, however, a second type of closed-loop structure was identified that contained just eIF4E and eIF4G. More than one eIF4G molecule per polysome appeared to be present in these complexes, supporting the importance of eIF4G interactions with the mRNA independent of PAB1. These latter closed-loop structures, which were particularly stable in polysomes, may be playing specific roles in both normal and disease states for specific mRNA that are deadenylated and/or lacking PAB1. These analyses establish a dynamic snapshot of molecular abundance changes during ribosomal transit across an mRNA in what are likely to be critical targets of regulation.

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Copyright:© 2016 Wang et al.


This is an article published by PLOS in PLOS One in 2016, available online: