Controlling translation elongation efficiency: tRNA regulation of ribosome flux on the mRNA

Barbara Gorgoni, Elizabeth Marshall, Matthew R McFarland, M Carmen Romano, Ian Stansfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


Gene expression can be regulated by a wide variety of mechanisms. One example concerns the growing body of evidence that the protein-production rate can be regulated at the level of translation elongation by controlling ribosome flux across the mRNA. Variations in the abundance of tRNA molecules cause different rates of translation of their counterpart codons. This, in turn, produces a variable landscape of translational rate across each and every mRNA, with the dynamic formation and deformation of ribosomal queues being regulated by both tRNA availability and the rates of translation initiation and termination. In the present article, a range of examples of tRNA control of gene expression are reviewed, and the use of mathematical modelling to develop a predictive understanding of the consequences of that regulation is discussed and explained. These findings encourage a view that predicting the protein-synthesis rate of each mRNA requires a holistic understanding of how each stage of translation, including elongation, contributes to the overall protein-production rate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-165
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical Society Transactions
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014

Bibliographical note

Work in the laboratories of I.S. and M.C.R. has been supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council [grant numbers BB/G010722/1 (to I.S. and M.C.R.), BB/I020926/1 (to I.S.) and BB/F00513X/1 (to M.C.R.)]


  • ribosomal pausing
  • saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • translational regulation
  • translation elongation
  • tRNA
  • tRNA modification


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