The adaptation of protein synthesis to environmental and physiological challenges is essential for cell viability. Here, we show that translation is tightly linked to the protein-folding environment of the cell through the functional properties of the ribosome bound chaperone NAC (nascent polypeptide-associated complex). Under non-stress conditions, NAC associates with ribosomes to promote translation and protein folding. When proteostasis is imbalanced, NAC relocalizes from a ribosome-associated state to protein aggregates in its role as a chaperone. This results in a functional depletion of NAC from the ribosome that diminishes translational capacity and the flux of nascent proteins. Depletion of NAC from polysomes and re-localisation to protein aggregates is observed during ageing, in response to heat shock and upon expression of the highly aggregation-prone polyglutamine-expansion proteins and Aβ-peptide. These results demonstrate that NAC has a central role as a proteostasis sensor to provide the cell with a regulatory feedback mechanism in which translational activity is also controlled by the folding state of the cellular proteome and the cellular response to stress.
- Protein synthesis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)