5 years ago

Heterogeneity of Stop Codon Readthrough in Single Bacterial Cells and Implications for Population Fitness

Heterogeneity of Stop Codon Readthrough in Single Bacterial Cells and Implications for Population Fitness
Gene expression noise (heterogeneity) leads to phenotypic diversity among isogenic individual cells. Our current understanding of gene expression noise is mostly limited to transcription, as separating translational noise from transcriptional noise has been challenging. It also remains unclear how translational heterogeneity originates. Using a transcription-normalized reporter system, we discovered that stop codon readthrough is heterogeneous among single cells, and individual cells with higher UGA readthrough grow faster from stationary phase. Our work also revealed that individual cells with lower protein synthesis levels exhibited higher UGA readthrough, which was confirmed with ribosome-targeting antibiotics (e.g., chloramphenicol). Further experiments and mathematical modeling suggest that varied competition between ternary complexes and release factors perturbs the UGA readthrough level. Our results indicate that fluctuations in the concentrations of translational components lead to UGA readthrough heterogeneity among single cells, which enhances phenotypic diversity of the genetically identical population and facilitates its adaptation to changing environments.

Graphical abstract



Protein synthesis accuracy is important for cell physiology and has been mostly studied at the population level. Fan et al. develop a dual-reporter system to quantitate protein synthesis errors in single bacterial cells and show that slowing protein synthesis increases some translational errors, namely readthrough of stop codons.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S109727651730504X

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.