Mechanism of premature translation termination on a sense codon.
ABSTRACT: Accurate translation termination by release factors (RFs) is critical for the integrity of cellular proteomes. Premature termination on sense codons, for example, results in truncated proteins, whose accumulation could be detrimental to the cell. Nevertheless, some sense codons are prone to triggering premature termination, but the structural basis for this is unclear. To investigate premature termination, we determined a cryo-EM structure of the Escherichia coli 70S ribosome bound with RF1 in response to a UAU (Tyr) sense codon. The structure reveals that RF1 recognizes a UAU codon similarly to a UAG stop codon, suggesting that sense codons induce premature termination because they structurally mimic a stop codon. Hydrophobic interaction between the nucleobase of U3 (the third position of the UAU codon) and conserved Ile-196 in RF1 is important for misreading the UAU codon. Analyses of RNA binding in ribonucleoprotein complexes or by amino acids reveal that Ile-U packing is a frequent protein-RNA-binding motif with key functional implications. We discuss parallels with eukaryotic translation termination by the release factor eRF1.
Project description:In contrast to bacteria that have two release factors, RF1 and RF2, eukaryotes only possess one unrelated release factor eRF1, which recognizes all three stop codons of the mRNA and hydrolyses the peptidyl-tRNA bond. While the molecular basis for bacterial termination has been elucidated, high-resolution structures of eukaryotic termination complexes have been lacking. Here we present a 3.8 Å structure of a human translation termination complex with eRF1 decoding a UAA(A) stop codon. The complex was formed using the human cytomegalovirus (hCMV) stalling peptide, which perturbs the peptidyltransferase center (PTC) to silence the hydrolysis activity of eRF1. Moreover, unlike sense codons or bacterial stop codons, the UAA stop codon adopts a U-turn-like conformation within a pocket formed by eRF1 and the ribosome. Inducing the U-turn conformation for stop codon recognition rationalizes how decoding by eRF1 includes monitoring geometry in order to discriminate against sense codons.
Project description:Deciphering the genetic code is a fundamental process in all living organisms. In many bacteria, AUA codons are deciphered by tRNA(Ile2) bearing lysidine (L) at the wobble position. L is a modified cytidine introduced post-transcriptionally by tRNA(Ile)-lysidine synthetase (TilS). Some bacteria, including Mycoplasma mobile, do not carry the tilS gene, indicating that they have established a different system to decode AUA codons. In this study, tRNA(Ile2) has been isolated from M. mobile and was found to contain a UAU anticodon without any modification. Mycoplasma mobile isoleucyl-tRNA synthetase (IleRS) recognized the UAU anticodon, whereas Escherichia coli IleRS did not efficiently aminoacylate tRNA(Ile2)(UAU). In M. mobile IleRS, a single Arg residue at position 865 was critical for specificity for the UAU anticodon and, when the corresponding site (W905) in E. coli IleRS was substituted with Arg, the W905R mutant efficiently aminoacylated tRNA with UAU anticodon. Mycoplasma mobile tRNA(Ile2) cannot distinguish between AUA and AUG codon on E. coli ribosome. However, on M. mobile ribosome, M. mobile tRNA(Ile2)(UAU) specifically recognized AUA codon, and not AUG codon, suggesting M. mobile ribosome has a property that prevents misreading of AUG codon. These findings provide an insight into the evolutionary reorganization of the AUA decoding system.
Project description:The current understanding of the specificity of the bacterial class I release factors (RFs) in decoding stop codons has evolved beyond a simple tripeptide anticodon model. A recent molecular dynamics study for deciphering the principles for specific stop codon recognition by RFs identified Arg-213 as a crucial residue on Escherichia coli RF2 for discriminating guanine in the third position (G3). Interestingly, Arg-213 is highly conserved in RF2 and substituted by Ile-196 in the corresponding position in RF1. Another similar pair is Leu-126 in RF1 and Asp-143 in RF2, which are also conserved within their respective groups. With the hypothesis that replacement of Arg-213 and Asp-143 with the corresponding RF1 residues will reduce G3 discrimination by RF2, we swapped these residues between E. coli RF1 and RF2 by site-directed mutagenesis and characterized their preference for different codons using a competitive peptide release assay. Among these, the R213I mutant of RF2 showed 5-fold improved reading of the RF1-specific UAG codon relative to UAA, the universal stop codon, compared with the wild type (WT). In-depth fast kinetic studies revealed that the gain in UAG reading by RF2 R213I is associated with a reduced efficiency of termination on the cognate UAA codon. Our work highlights the notion that stop codon recognition involves complex interactions with multiple residues beyond the PXT/SPF motifs. We propose that the R213I mutation in RF2 brings us one step forward toward engineering an omnipotent RF in bacteria, capable of reading all three stop codons.
Project description:Termination of protein synthesis is triggered by the recognition of a stop codon at the ribosomal A site and is mediated by class I release factors (RFs). Whereas in bacteria, RF1 and RF2 promote termination at UAA/UAG and UAA/UGA stop codons, respectively, eukaryotes only depend on one RF (eRF1) to initiate peptide release at all three stop codons. Based on several structural as well as biochemical studies, interactions between mRNA, tRNA, and rRNA have been proposed to be required for stop codon recognition. In this study, the influence of these interactions was investigated by using chemically modified stop codons. Single functional groups within stop codon nucleotides were substituted to weaken or completely eliminate specific interactions between the respective mRNA and RFs. Our findings provide detailed insight into the recognition mode of bacterial and eukaryotic RFs, thereby revealing the chemical groups of nucleotides that define the identity of stop codons and provide the means to discriminate against noncognate stop codons or UGG sense codons.
Project description:Pseudouridylation of messenger RNA emerges as an abundant modification involved in gene expression regulation. Pseudouridylation of stop codons in eukaryotic and bacterial cells results in stop-codon read through. The structural mechanism of this phenomenon is not known. Here we present a 3.1-Å crystal structure of Escherichia coli release factor 1 (RF1) bound to the 70S ribosome in response to the ?AA codon. The structure reveals that recognition of a modified stop codon does not differ from that of a canonical stop codon. Our in vitro biochemical results support this finding by yielding nearly identical rates for peptide release from E. coli ribosomes programmed with pseudouridylated and canonical stop codons. The crystal structure also brings insight into E. coli RF1-specific interactions and suggests involvement of L27 in bacterial translation termination. Our results are consistent with a mechanism in which read through of a pseudouridylated stop codon in bacteria results from increased decoding by near-cognate tRNAs (miscoding) rather than from decreased efficiency of termination.
Project description:Efficient gene expression involves a trade-off between (i) premature termination of protein synthesis; and (ii) readthrough, where the ribosome fails to dissociate at the terminal stop. Sense codons that are similar in sequence to stop codons are more susceptible to nonsense mutation, and are also likely to be more susceptible to transcriptional or translational errors causing premature termination. We therefore expect this trade-off to be influenced by the number of stop codons in the genetic code. Although genetic codes are highly constrained, stop codon number appears to be their most volatile feature.In the human genome, codons readily mutable to stops are underrepresented in coding sequences. We construct a simple mathematical model based on the relative likelihoods of premature termination and readthrough. When readthrough occurs, the resultant protein has a tail of amino acid residues incorrectly added to the C-terminus. Our results depend strongly on the number of stop codons in the genetic code. When the code has more stop codons, premature termination is relatively more likely, particularly for longer genes. When the code has fewer stop codons, the length of the tail added by readthrough will, on average, be longer, and thus more deleterious. Comparative analysis of taxa with a range of stop codon numbers suggests that genomes whose code includes more stop codons have shorter coding sequences.We suggest that the differing trade-offs presented by alternative genetic codes may result in differences in genome structure. More speculatively, multiple stop codons may mitigate readthrough, counteracting the disadvantage of a higher rate of nonsense mutation. This could help explain the puzzling overrepresentation of stop codons in the canonical genetic code and most variants.
Project description:Terminating protein translation accurately and efficiently is critical for both protein fidelity and ribosome recycling for continued translation. The three bacterial release factors (RFs) play key roles: RF1 and 2 recognize stop codons and terminate translation; and RF3 promotes disassociation of bound release factors. Probing release factors mutations with reporter constructs containing programmed frameshifting sequences or premature stop codons had revealed a propensity for readthrough or frameshifting at these specific sites, but their effects on translation genome-wide have not been examined. We performed ribosome profiling on a set of isogenic strains with well-characterized release factor mutations to determine how they alter translation globally. Consistent with their known defects, strains with increasingly severe release factor defects exhibit increasingly severe accumulation of ribosomes over stop codons, indicative of an increased duration of the termination/release phase of translation. Release factor mutant strains also exhibit increased occupancy in the region following the stop codon at a significant number of genes. Our global analysis revealed that, as expected, translation termination is generally efficient and accurate, but that at a significant number of genes (? 50) the ribosome signature after the stop codon is suggestive of translation past the stop codon. Even native E. coli K-12 exhibits the ribosome signature suggestive of protein extension, especially at UGA codons, which rely exclusively on the reduced function RF2 variant of the K-12 strain for termination. Deletion of RF3 increases the severity of the defect. We unambiguously demonstrate readthrough and frameshifting protein extensions and their further accumulation in mutant strains for a few select cases. In addition to enhancing recoding, ribosome accumulation over stop codons disrupts attenuation control of biosynthetic operons, and may alter expression of some overlapping genes. Together, these functional alterations may either augment the protein repertoire or produce deleterious proteins.
Project description:Amyloid aggregation of the eukaryotic translation terminator eRF3/Sup35p, the [PSI +] prion, empowers yeast ribosomes to read-through UGA stop codons. No similar functional prion, skipping a stop codon, has been found in Escherichia coli, a fact possibly due to the efficient back-up systems found in bacteria to rescue non-stop complexes. Here we report that engineering hydrophobic amyloidogenic repeats from a synthetic bacterial prion-like protein (RepA-WH1) into the E. coli releasing factor RF1 promotes its aggregation and enables ribosomes to continue with translation through a premature UAG stop codon located in a ?-galactosidase reporter. To our knowledge, intended aggregation of a termination factor is a way to overcome the bacterial translation quality checkpoint that had not been reported so far. We also show the feasibility of using the amyloidogenic RF1 chimeras as a reliable, rapid and cost-effective system to screen for molecules inhibiting intracellular protein amyloidogenesis in vivo, by testing the effect on the chimeras of natural polyphenols with known anti-amyloidogenic properties. Resveratrol exhibits a clear amyloid-solubilizing effect in this assay, showing no toxicity to bacteria or interference with the enzymatic activity of ?-galactosidase.
Project description:Translation termination ensures proper lengths of cellular proteins. During termination, release factor (RF) recognizes a stop codon and catalyzes peptide release. Conformational changes in RF are thought to underlie accurate translation termination. However, structural studies of ribosome termination complexes have only captured RFs in a conformation that is consistent with the catalytically active state. Here, we employ a hyper-accurate RF1 variant to obtain crystal structures of 70S termination complexes that suggest a structural pathway for RF1 activation. We trapped RF1 conformations with the catalytic domain outside of the peptidyl-transferase center, while the codon-recognition domain binds the stop codon. Stop-codon recognition induces 30S decoding-center rearrangements that precede accommodation of the catalytic domain. The separation of codon recognition from the opening of the catalytic domain suggests how rearrangements in RF1 and in the ribosomal decoding center coordinate stop-codon recognition with peptide release, ensuring accurate translation termination.
Project description:We report the crystal structure of a termination complex containing release factor RF1 bound to the 70S ribosome in response to an amber (UAG) codon at 3.6-A resolution. The amber codon is recognized in the 30S subunit-decoding centre directly by conserved elements of domain 2 of RF1, including T186 of the PVT motif. Together with earlier structures, the mechanisms of recognition of all three stop codons by release factors RF1 and RF2 can now be described. Our structure confirms that the backbone amide of Q230 of the universally conserved GGQ motif is positioned to contribute directly to the catalysis of the peptidyl-tRNA hydrolysis reaction through stabilization of the leaving group and/or transition state. We also observe synthetic-negative interactions between mutations in the switch loop of RF1 and in helix 69 of 23S rRNA, revealing that these structural features interact functionally in the termination process. These findings are consistent with our proposal that structural rearrangements of RF1 and RF2 are critical to accurate translation termination.