In vitro and tissue culture methods for analysis of translation initiation on the endoplasmic reticulum.
For mRNAs encoding secretory and integral membrane proteins, translation initiation is thought to begin a process of mRNA localization where mRNA/ribosome/nascent chain complexes (RNCs) are trafficked from the cytosol compartment to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). At the ER membrane, RNCs bind to a protein-conducting channel via the large ribosomal subunit and protein translocation ensues through coupling of the ribosomal nascent protein exit site with the protein-conducting channel. At the termination of translation, ribosomal subunits are thought to dissociate from the ER to return to a common cytoplasmic pool and participate in additional cycles of initiation, translation, targeting, termination, and ER membrane release. Experimental evidence has demonstrated that ER-membrane ribosomes are capable of de novo initiation, that mRNA partitioning to the ER membrane does not, per se, require translation of an encoded signal sequence, and that ribosomal subunit dissociation from the ER membrane is not obligatorily coupled to protein synthesis termination. These findings suggest that the cycle of protein synthesis-initiation, elongation, and termination-can occur on the two-dimensional plane of the ER membrane and challenge current views on the subcellular restriction of translation initiation to the cytosol, the role of the ribosome cycle in partitioning mRNA between the cytosol and ER, and the in vivo basis for termination-induced ribosomal subunit dissociation. In the following chapter, we provide detailed experimental methods to study protein synthesis initiation on the ER membrane.
Stephens, SB; Nicchitta, CV
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