The role of tRNA-derived fragments in stress response

Polacek, Norbert (5 September 2016). The role of tRNA-derived fragments in stress response (Unpublished). In: 26th tRNA Conference. Jeju, Korea. 04.-08.09.2016.

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Small non-protein-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) represent major contributors to regulatory networks in controlling gene expression in a highly efficient manner. In recently performed screens for ribosome-associated ncRNAs (rancRNAs) in various model organisms, tRNA-derived fragments and tRNA halve molecules were among the most abundant RNA-Seq reads. Post-transcriptional cleavage and/or alterations of tRNA molecules to generate smaller fragments appear to be widespread mechanisms enlarging the structural and functional complexities of cellular RNomes.
For a subset of tRNA-derived fragments we have gathered experimental evidence demonstrating ribosome association in a stress-dependent manner. Subsequent functional analyses revealed tRNA-fragments and tRNA-halves as regulators of protein biosynthesis during specific environmental stress situations in the archaeon Haloferax volcanii, the human pathogen Trypanosoma brucei, and in Chinese hamster ovary cells, respectively. In Haloferax volcanii we identified a tRNA fragment originating from Val-tRNA to bind the small ribosomal subunit and to interfere with efficient translation initiation. Certain tRNA-derived fragments are truly rancRNAs and seem to be involved in the first wave of cellular stress response by fine-tuning the rate of protein biosynthesis. Ongoing work in our lab focuses on uncovering the biology of tRNA-derived fragments and other post-transcriptional tRNA alterations during stress response.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences (DCBP)

UniBE Contributor:

Polacek, Norbert


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




Christina Schüpbach

Date Deposited:

26 Jan 2017 09:40

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:01


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