Assembly and functionality of the ribosome with tethered subunits

Nikolay A. Aleksashin, Margus Leppik, Adam J. Hockenberry, Dorota Klepacki, Nora Vázquez-Laslop, Michael C. Jewett, Jaanus Remme, Alexander S. Mankin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Ribo-T is an engineered ribosome whose small and large subunits are tethered together by linking 16S rRNA and 23S rRNA in a single molecule. Although Ribo-T can support cell proliferation in the absence of wild type ribosomes, Ribo-T cells grow slower than those with wild type ribosomes. Here, we show that cell growth defect is likely explained primarily by slow Ribo-T assembly rather than its imperfect functionality. Ribo-T maturation is stalled at a late assembly stage. Several post-transcriptional rRNA modifications and some ribosomal proteins are underrepresented in the accumulated assembly intermediates and rRNA ends are incompletely trimmed. Ribosome profiling of Ribo-T cells shows no defects in translation elongation but reveals somewhat higher occupancy by Ribo-T of the start codons and to a lesser extent stop codons, suggesting that subunit tethering mildly affects the initiation and termination stages of translation. Understanding limitations of Ribo-T system offers ways for its future development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number930
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Assembly and functionality of the ribosome with tethered subunits'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this