Pseudouridine-mediated translation control of mRNA by methionine aminoacyl tRNA synthetase

Ofri Levi, Arava Yoav

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Modification of nucleotides within an mRNA emerges as a key path for gene expression regulation. Pseudouridine is one of the most common RNA modifications; however, only a few mRNA modifiers have been identified to date, and no one mRNA pseudouridine reader is known. Here, we applied a novel genome-wide approach to identify mRNA regions that are bound by yeast methionine aminoacyl tRNAMet synthetase (MetRS). We found a clear enrichment to regions that were previously described to contain pseudouridine (ψ). Follow-up in vitro and in vivo analyses on a prime target (position 1074 within YEF3 mRNA) demonstrated the importance of pseudouridine for MetRS binding. Furthermore, polysomal and protein analyses revealed that ψ1074 mediates translation. Modification of this site occurs presumably by Pus6, a pseudouridine synthetase known to modify MetRS cognate tRNA. Consistently, the deletion of Pus6 leads to a decrease in MetRS association with both tRNAMet and YEF3 mRNA. Furthermore, while global protein synthesis decreases in pus6Δ, translation of YEF3 increases. Together, our data imply that Pus6 'writes' modifications on tRNA and mRNA, and both types of RNAs are 'read' by MetRS for translation regulation purposes. This represents a novel integrated path for writing and reading modifications on both tRNA and mRNA, which may lead to coordination between global and gene-specific translational responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-443
Number of pages12
JournalNucleic acids research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 10 Dec 2020


  • CRISPR-Cas Systems
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal
  • Methionine-tRNA Ligase/metabolism
  • Methionine/metabolism
  • Peptide Elongation Factors/biosynthesis
  • Polyribosomes/metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Pseudouridine/physiology
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional
  • RNA, Fungal/genetics
  • RNA, Messenger/genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins/biosynthesis
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae/genetics


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