How to find “traffic jams” in the ribosome

May 6, 2020

Comprehensive search with the disome profiling method

The group of researchers of the RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research, the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science, Tohoku University, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, and Kyoto Sangyo University established the Disome Profiling Method and comprehensively studied the “ribosomal traffic jams" that occur during protein translation.

During translation, ribosomes do not always decode at a constant speed. Rather, they often pause and collide (causing "traffic jams"). The fundamental issues, such as where ribosomes collide, on which codon of which messenger RNA (mRNA), remained unknown.

In this study, the joint research group developed the Disome Profiling Method, where mRNA fragments can be obtained from disomes (two collided ribosomes) emerging during the collision of ribosomes, using a next-generation sequencer. Using this method, the group identified collision sites on the entire genome of human cells. Furthermore, the group found that the collisions occur in more than one specific amino acid sequence and stop codon, and that a part of the nascent polypeptides synthesized from collided ribosomes are decomposed by ribosome-associated quality control (RQC).

The findings of the study are expected to contribute not only to basic studies on translation but also to understanding of diseases (neurodegenerative diseases, etc.) that occur due to ribosome collisions.

Original article
Cell Reports doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2020.107610
P. Han, Y. Shichino, T. Schneider-Poetsch, M. Mito, S. Hashimoto, T. Udagawa, K. Kohno, M. Yoshida, Y. Mishima, T. Inada, S. Iwasaki,
"Genome-wide survey of ribosome collision".
Minoru Yoshida
Group Director
Chemical Genomics Research Group