Ubiquitination of stalled ribosome triggers ribosome-associated quality control

Nature Communications, volume 8, Article number: 159, doi:10.1038/s41467-017-00188-1
Nature Communications, online article

Translation arrest by polybasic sequences induces ribosome stalling, and the arrest product is degraded by the ribosome-mediated quality control (RQC) system. Here we report that ubiquitination of the 40S ribosomal protein uS10 by the E3 ubiquitin ligase Hel2 (or RQT1) is required for RQC. We identify a RQC-trigger (RQT) subcomplex composed of the RNA helicase-family protein Slh1/Rqt2, the ubiquitin-binding protein Cue3/Rqt3, and yKR023W/Rqt4 that is required for RQC. The defects in RQC of the RQT mutants correlate with sensitivity to anisomycin, which stalls ribosome at the rotated form. Cryo-electron microscopy analysis reveals that Hel2-bound ribosome are dominantly the rotated form with hybrid tRNAs. Ribosome profiling reveals that ribosomes stalled at the rotated state with specific pairs of codons at P-A sites serve as RQC substrates. Rqt1 specifically ubiquitinates these arrested ribosomes to target them to the RQT complex, allowing subsequent RQC reactions including dissociation of the stalled ribosome into subunits.

TU München
Helmholtz München
MPI of Neurobiology
MPI of Biochemistry