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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Preferential translation of cold-shock mRNAs during cold adaptation.

Upon temperature downshift below the lower threshold of balanced growth (approximately 20 degrees C), the Escherichia coli translational apparatus undergoes modifications allowing the selective translation of the transcripts of cold shock-induced genes, while bulk protein synthesis is drastically reduced. Here we were able to reproduce this translational bias in E. coli cell-free extracts prepared at various times during cold adaptation which were found to display different capacities to translate different types of mRNAs as a function of temperature. Several causes were found to contribute to the cold-shock translational bias: Cold-shock mRNAs contain cis-elements, making them intrinsically more prone to being translated in the cold, and they are selective targets for trans-acting factors present in increased amounts in the translational apparatus of cold-shocked cells. CspA was found to be among these trans-acting factors. In addition to inducing a higher level of CspA, cold shock was found to cause a strong (two- to threefold) stoichiometric imbalance of the ratio between initiation factors (IF1, IF2, IF3) and ribosomes without altering the stoichiometric ratio between the factors themselves. The most important sources of cold-shock translational bias is IF3, which strongly and selectively favors translation of cold-shock mRNAs in the cold. IF1 and the RNA chaperone CspA, which stimulate translation preferentially in the cold without mRNA selectivity, can also contribute to the translational bias. Finally, in contrast to a previous claim, translation of cold-shock cspA mRNA in the cold was found to be as sensitive as that of a non-cold-shock mRNA to both chloramphenicol and kanamycin inhibition.[1]


  1. Preferential translation of cold-shock mRNAs during cold adaptation. Giuliodori, A.M., Brandi, A., Gualerzi, C.O., Pon, C.L. RNA (2004) [Pubmed]
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