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Maintaining the translational reading frame poses difficulty for the ribosome. Slippery mRNA sequences such as CC[C/U]-[C/U], read by isoacceptors of tRNA(Pro), are highly prone to +1 frameshift (+1FS) errors. Here we show that +1FS errors occur by two mechanisms, a slow mechanism when tRNA(Pro) is stalled in the P-site next to an empty A-site and a fast mechanism during translocation of tRNA(Pro) into the P-site. Suppression of +1FS errors requires the m(1)G37 methylation of tRNA(Pro) on the 3' side of the anticodon and the translation factor EF-P. Importantly, both m(1)G37 and EF-P show the strongest suppression effect when CC[C/U]-[C/U] are placed at the second codon of a reading frame. This work demonstrates that maintaining the reading frame immediately after the initiation of translation by the ribosome is an essential aspect of protein synthesis.


Howard B Gamper, Isao Masuda, Milana Frenkel-Morgenstern, Ya-Ming Hou. Maintenance of protein synthesis reading frame by EF-P and m(1)G37-tRNA. Nature communications. 2015;6:7226

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PMID: 26009254

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