Deep conservation of ribosome stall sites across RNA processing genes
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionNAR Genomics and Bioinformatics. 2021, 3 (2), lqab038. 10.1093/nargab/lqab038
The rate of translation can vary depending on the mRNA template. During the elongation phase the ribosome can transiently pause or permanently stall. A pause can provide the nascent protein with the time to fold or be transported, while stalling can serve as quality control and trigger degradation of aberrant mRNA and peptide. Ribosome profiling has allowed for the genome-wide detection of such pauses and stalls, but due to library-specific biases, these predictions are often unreliable. Here, we take advantage of the deep conservation of protein synthesis machinery, hypothesizing that similar conservation could exist for functionally important locations of ribosome slowdown, here collectively called stall sites. We analyze multiple ribosome profiling datasets from phylogenetically diverse eukaryotes: yeast, fruit fly, zebrafish, mouse and human to identify conserved stall sites. We find thousands of stall sites across multiple species, with the enrichment of proline, glycine and negatively charged amino acids around conserved stalling. Many of the sites are found in RNA processing genes, suggesting that stalling might have a conserved role in RNA metabolism. In summary, our results provide a rich resource for the study of conserved stalling and indicate possible roles of stalling in gene regulation.