Protein synthesis rates and ribosome occupancies reveal determinants of translation elongation rates

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Andrea RibaMihaela Zavolan


Although protein synthesis dynamics has been studied both with theoretical models and by profiling ribosome footprints, the determinants of ribosome flux along open reading frames (ORFs) are not fully understood. Combining measurements of protein synthesis rate with ribosome footprinting data, we here inferred translation initiation and elongation rates for over a thousand ORFs in exponentially-growing wildtype yeast cells. We found that the amino acid composition of synthesized proteins is as important a determinant of translation elongation rate as parameters related to codon and tRNA adaptation. We did not find evidence of ribosome collisions curbing the protein output of yeast transcripts, either in high translation conditions associated with exponential growth, or in strains in which deletion of individual ribosomal protein genes leads to globally increased or decreased translation. Slow translation elongation is characteristic of RP-encoding transcripts, which have markedly lower protein output than other transcripts with equally high ribosome densities.

Related Concepts

Gene Deletion
Theoretical Model
Genes, rRNA
Open Reading Frames
Protein Biosynthesis
Translational Elongation

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