We used ribosome profiling to characterize the biological role of ribosome recycling factor (RRF) in E. coli. As expected, RRF depletion leads to enrichment of post-termination 70S complexes in 3’-UTRs. We also observe that elongating ribosomes are unable to complete translation because they are blocked by non-recycled ribosomes at stop codons. Previous studies have suggested a role for recycling in translational coupling within operons; if a ribosome remains bound to an mRNA after termination, it may re-initiate downstream. We found, however, that RRF depletion did not significantly affect coupling efficiency in reporter assays or in ribosome density genome-wide. These findings argue that re-initiation is not a major mechanism of translational coupling in E. coli. Finally, RRF depletion has dramatic effects on the activity of ribosome rescue factors tmRNA and ArfA. Our results provide a global view of the effects of the loss of ribosome recycling on protein synthesis in E. coli.
- Ribosome profiling
- Ribosome recycling
- Translational coupling
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)