Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

In bacteria, protein synthesis can be coupled to transcription, but in eukaryotes it is believed to occur solely in the cytoplasm. Using pulses as short as 5 s, we find that three analogues--L-azidohomoalanine, puromycin (detected after attaching fluors using 'click' chemistry or immuno-labeling), and amino acids tagged with 'heavy' 15N and 13C (detected using secondary ion mass spectrometry)--are incorporated into the nucleus and cytoplasm in a process sensitive to translational inhibitors. The nuclear incorporation represents a significant fraction of the total, and labels in both compartments have half-lives of less than a minute; results are consistent with most newly-made peptides being destroyed soon after they are made. As nascent RNA bearing a premature termination codon (detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization) is also eliminated by a mechanism sensitive to a translational inhibitor, the nuclear turnover of peptides is probably a by-product of proof-reading the RNA for stop codons (a process known as nonsense-mediated decay). We speculate that the apparently-wasteful turnover of this previously-hidden ('dark-matter') world of peptide is involved in regulating protein production.

Original publication

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0099346

Type

Journal article

Journal

PLoS One

Publication Date

2014

Volume

9

Keywords

Amino Acids, Animals, Cell Line, Cell Nucleus, Cytoplasm, Humans, Nonsense Mediated mRNA Decay, Peptides, Protein Biosynthesis, Protein Transport, Proteins, Puromycin, RNA, Messenger, Ribosomes, Time Factors