Ribosome recycling is not critical for translational coupling in E. Coli

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4 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere59974
Pages (from-to)1-37
Number of pages37
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • RRF
  • Ribosome profiling
  • Ribosome recycling
  • Translational coupling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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