Eukaryotic cells have evolved multiple mechanisms to detect and eliminate aberrant polypeptides. Co-translational protein surveillance systems play an important role in these mechanisms. These systems include ribosome-associated protein quality control (RQC) that detects aberrant nascent chains stalled on ribosomes and promotes their ubiquitination and degradation by the proteasome, and ribosome-associated chaperone Ssb/RAC, which ensures correct nascent chain folding. Despite the known function of RQC and Ssb/ribosome-associated complex (RAC) in monitoring the quality of newly generated polypeptides, whether they cooperate during initial stages of protein synthesis remains unexplored. Here, we provide evidence that Ssb/RAC and the ubiquitin ligase Ltn1, the major component of RQC, display genetic and functional cooperativity. Overexpression of Ltn1 rescues growth suppression of the yeast strain-bearing deletions of SSB genes during proteotoxic stress. Moreover, Ssb/RAC promotes Ltn1-dependent ubiquitination of nascent chains associated with 80S ribosomal particles but not with translating ribosomes. Consistent with this finding, quantitative western blot analysis revealed lower levels of Ltn1 associated with 80S ribosomes and with free 60S ribosomal subunits in the absence of Ssb/RAC. We propose a mechanism in which Ssb/RAC facilitates recruitment of Ltn1 to ribosomes, likely by detecting aberrations in nascent chains and leading to their ubiquitination and degradation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry