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Emerging views on tmRNA-mediated protein tagging and ribosome rescue.

Abstract : Transfer-messenger RNA (tmRNA), also known as SsrA or 10Sa RNA, is a bacterial ribonucleic acid that recycles 70S ribosomes stalled on problematic messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and also contributes to the degradation of incompletely synthesized peptides. tmRNA acts initially as transfer RNA (tRNA), being aminoacylated at its 3'-end by alanyl-tRNA synthetase, to add alanine to the stalled polypeptide chain. Resumption of translation ensues not on the mRNA on which the ribosomes were stalled but at an internal position in tmRNA. Termination soon occurs, tmRNA recruiting the appropriate termination factors allowing the release of the tagged protein that is subsequently recognized and degraded by specific cytoplasmic and periplasmic proteases, and permits ribosome recycling. Recent data suggest that tmRNA tags bacterial proteins in three other instances; when ribosomes stall at internal sites; during 'readthrough' of canonical termination codons; and when ribosomes are at the termination codon of intact messages. The importance of bacterial tmRNAs for survival, growth under stress, and pathogenesis is also discussed. Recent in vivo and in vitro studies have identified novel ligands of tmRNA. Based on the available experimental evidences, an updated model of tmRNA mediated protein tagging and ribosome rescue in bacteria is presented.
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Reynald Gillet, Brice Felden. Emerging views on tmRNA-mediated protein tagging and ribosome rescue.. Molecular Microbiology, Wiley, 2001, 42 (4), pp.879-85. ⟨10.1046/j.1365-2958.2001.02701.x⟩. ⟨inserm-00718190⟩

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