Codon usage and protein length-dependent feedback from translation elongation regulates translation initiation and elongation speed

Xueliang Lyu, Qian Yang, Fangzhou Zhao, Yi Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Essential cellular functions require efficient production of many large proteins but synthesis of large proteins encounters many obstacles in cells. Translational control is mostly known to be regulated at the initiation step. Whether translation elongation process can feedback to regulate initiation efficiency is unclear. Codon usage bias, a universal feature of all genomes, plays an important role in determining gene expression levels. Here, we discovered that there is a conserved but codon usage-dependent genome-wide negative correlation between protein abundance and CDS length. The codon usage effects on protein expression and ribosome flux on mRNAs are influenced by CDS length; optimal codon usage preferentially promotes production of large proteins. Translation of mRNAs with long CDS and non-optimal codon usage preferentially induces phosphorylation of initiation factor eIF2α, which inhibits translation initiation efficiency. Deletion of the eIF2α kinase CPC-3 (GCN2 homolog) in Neurospora preferentially up-regulates large proteins encoded by non-optimal codons. Surprisingly, CPC-3 also inhibits translation elongation rate in a codon usage and CDS length-dependent manner, resulting in slow elongation rates for long CDS mRNAs. Together, these results revealed a codon usage and CDS length-dependent feedback mechanism from translation elongation to regulate both translation initiation and elongation kinetics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9404-9423
Number of pages20
JournalNucleic acids research
Volume49
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 20 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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