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BMC Systems Biology

, 2:62

First Online: 13 July 2008Received: 10 March 2008Accepted: 13 July 2008

Abstract

BackgroundNatural variation in protein output from translation in bacteria and archaea may be an organism-specific property of the ribosome. This paper adopts a systems approach to model the protein output as a measure of specific ribosome reactive properties in a ribosome-mediated translation apparatus. We use the steady-state assumption to define a transition state complex for the ribosome, coupled with mRNA, tRNA, amino acids and reaction factors, as a subsystem that allows a focus on the completed translational output as a measure of specific properties of the ribosome.

ResultsIn analogy to the steady-state reaction of an enzyme complex, we propose a steady-state translation complex for mRNA from any gene, and derive a maximum specific translation activity, Tamax, as a property of the ribosomal reaction complex. Tamaxhas units of a-protein output per time per a-specific mRNA. A related property of the ribosome, T ˜ a max MathType@MTEF@5@5@+=feaagaart1ev2aaatCvAUfKttLearuWrP9MDH5MBPbIqV92AaeXatLxBI9gBaebbnrfifHhDYfgasaacPC6xNi=xH8viVGI8Gi=hEeeu0xXdbba9frFj0xb9qqpG0dXdb9aspeI8k8fiI+fsY=rqGqVepae9pg0db9vqaiVgFr0xfr=xfr=xc9adbaqaaeGaciGaaiaabeqaaeqabiWaaaGcbaGafmivaqLbaGaadaWgaaWcbaGaemyyaeMaeiikaGIagiyBa0MaeiyyaeMaeiiEaGNaeiykaKcabeaaaaa@3464@ Open image in new window, has units of a-protein per time per total RNA with the relationship T ˜ a max MathType@MTEF@5@5@+=feaagaart1ev2aaatCvAUfKttLearuWrP9MDH5MBPbIqV92AaeXatLxBI9gBaebbnrfifHhDYfgasaacPC6xNi=xH8viVGI8Gi=hEeeu0xXdbba9frFj0xb9qqpG0dXdb9aspeI8k8fiI+fsY=rqGqVepae9pg0db9vqaiVgFr0xfr=xfr=xc9adbaqaaeGaciGaaiaabeqaaeqabiWaaaGcbaGafmivaqLbaGaadaWgaaWcbaGaemyyaeMaeiikaGIagiyBa0MaeiyyaeMaeiiEaGNaeiykaKcabeaaaaa@3464@ Open image in new window = ρaTamax, where ρarepresents the fraction of total RNA committed to translation output of Pafrom gene a message. Tamaxas a ribosome property is analogous to kcat for a purified enzyme, and T ˜ a max MathType@MTEF@5@5@+=feaagaart1ev2aaatCvAUfKttLearuWrP9MDH5MBPbIqV92AaeXatLxBI9gBaebbnrfifHhDYfgasaacPC6xNi=xH8viVGI8Gi=hEeeu0xXdbba9frFj0xb9qqpG0dXdb9aspeI8k8fiI+fsY=rqGqVepae9pg0db9vqaiVgFr0xfr=xfr=xc9adbaqaaeGaciGaaiaabeqaaeqabiWaaaGcbaGafmivaqLbaGaadaWgaaWcbaGaemyyaeMaeiikaGIagiyBa0MaeiyyaeMaeiiEaGNaeiykaKcabeaaaaa@3464@ Open image in new window is analogous to enzyme specific activity in a crude extract.

ConclusionAnalogy to an enzyme reaction complex led us to a ribosome reaction model for measuring specific translation activity of a bacterial ribosome. We propose to use this model to design experimental tests of our hypothesis that specific translation activity is a ribosomal property that is subject to natural variation and natural selection much like Vmax and Km for any specific enzyme.

AbbreviationsExcept in Fig. 1 and noted in the Fig. 1 legendonly standard abbreviations were used in this paper.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1752-0509-2-62 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Julius H Jackson - Thomas M Schmidt - Patricia A Herring

Source: https://link.springer.com/



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