When small non-coding RNAs meet the ribosome: Tuning the translational machinery

Gebetsberger, Jennifer Viktoria (11 June 2013). When small non-coding RNAs meet the ribosome: Tuning the translational machinery (Unpublished). In: 18th RNA Society Meeting. Davos, Schweiz. 11.-16.06.2013.

The functions of ribosomes in translation are complex and involve different types of activities critical for decoding the genetic code, linkage of amino acids via amide bonds to form polypeptide chains, as well as the release and proper targeting of the synthesized protein. Non-protein-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) have been recognized to be crucial in establishing regulatory networks.1 However all of the recently discovered ncRNAs involved in translation regulation target the mRNA rather than the ribosome. The main goal of this project is to identify potential novel ncRNAs that directly bind and possibly regulate the ribosome during protein biosynthesis. To address this question we applied various stress conditions to the archaeal model organism Haloferax volcanii and deep-sequenced the ribosome-associated small ncRNA interactome. In total we identified 6.250 ncRNA candidates. Significantly, we observed the emersed presence of tRNA-derived fragments (tRFs). These tRFs have been identified in all domains of life and represent a growing, yet functionally poorly understood, class of ncRNAs. Here we present evidence that tRFs from H. volcanii directly bind to ribosomes. In the presented genomic screen of the ribosome-associated RNome a 26 residue long fragment originating from the 5’ part of valine tRNA was by far the most abundant tRF. The Val-tRF is processed in a stress- dependent manner and was found to primarily target the small ribosomal subunit in vitro and in vivo. As a consequence of ribosome binding, Val-tRF reduces protein synthesis by interfering with peptidyl transferase activity. Therefore this tRF functions as ribosome-bound small ncRNA capable of regulating gene expression in H. volcanii under environmental stress conditions probably by fine-tuning the rate of protein production.2 Currently we are investigating the binding site of this tRF on the 30S subunit in more detail.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)


08 Faculty of Science > Departement of Chemistry and Biochemistry

UniBE Contributor:

Gebetsberger, Jennifer Viktoria


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry




Christina Schüpbach

Date Deposited:

04 Aug 2014 17:04

Last Modified:

04 Aug 2014 17:04



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