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Ribosome Heterogeneity

Ribosomes act as important translators of proteins and important participants in gene expression. It has been indicated that ribosome heterogeneity is related to the regulation of the expression of distinct genes. Creative Biolabs offers advanced technologies to help researchers to investigate the differences among ribosome structures and functions and find the novel molecular basis that could explain gene expression.

What is Ribosome Heterogeneity?

The ribosome is made up of core and substoichiometric ribosomal proteins (RPs). The heterogeneity of ribosomes is characterized by the heterogeneous composition and amount of core and substoichiometric RPs.

Five outstanding questions on the nature of ribosome heterogeneity and its function.Fig.1 Five outstanding questions on the nature of ribosome heterogeneity and its function. (Genuth, 2018)

What Causes Ribosome Heterogeneity?

Distinct types of cells or even within a single cell may have different structures of ribosomes. The composition of the ribosome is surprisingly not only heterogeneous but also dynamic. The alterations of ribosomal composition may occur during different stimulations. The causes of ribosome heterogeneity include cellular stress, activation of specific signaling pathways, and cell cycle progression. The conformation of the ribosome at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane is tailored to enhance the translation of luminal, membrane, or secretory proteins. The specialized ribosomes presenting at synapses in neurons are involved in enhancing the translation efficiency of co-localized synaptic mRNAs.

  • Ribosome biogenesis involves vast amounts of ribosomal proteins and rRNA. The control of heterogeneous ribosomes possibly occurs during ribosome biogenesis, as the rRNA allele might be altered, and the RPs could be assembled onto the pre-ribosomal subunits in the nucleolus or exchange with the ribosomal subunits in the nucleus or cytoplasm. For example, RPL13a/uL13 is phosphorylated with interferon-γ signaling and subsequently extracted from cytoplasmic ribosomes.
  • Post-translational modifications on RPs and modifications on rRNAs also play an important role in dynamic ribosome heterogeneity. Substoichiometric RPs, such as RPS25/eS25 appear less dispensable for ribosomal biogenesis or cell viability, which suggests heterogeneous incorporation of ribosomes and RPs explains the posttranslational mechanisms. Other examples also indicate the importance of post-translational modifications in heterogeneous ribosomes, including regulatory ubiquitylation of RPs during the unfolded protein response, and phosphorylation, methylation, acetylation, and hydroxylation of different RPs.

You can learn more about the mechanism of ribosome heterogeneity and abnormal ribosomal RNA modifications by visiting the links below:

What Can We Do for You?

The abundance and dynamics of those modifications on ribosomes, corresponding ribosomal functions, and even their interactions need to be further explored. Creative Biolabs offers advanced ribosome-related technologies especially in the aspect of proteomics to discover the molecular mechanisms of ribosome heterogeneity. Global clients could utilize our professional services to explore the distinctions between ribosomes and ribosome-mediated gene regulation.

To get access to our ribosome-related services, please check out the following links:

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  1. Genuth, N. R.; Barna, M. The discovery of ribosome heterogeneity and its implications for gene regulation and organismal life. Molecular cell. 2018, 71(3): 364-374.
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