The dynamics of supply and demand in mRNA translation

Christopher A Brackley, M Carmen Romano, Marco Thiel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


We study the elongation stage of mRNA translation in eukaryotes and find that, in contrast to the assumptions of previous models, both the supply and the demand for tRNA resources are important for determining elongation rates. We find that increasing the initiation rate of translation can lead to the depletion of some species of aa-tRNA, which in turn can lead to slow codons and queueing. Particularly striking ``competition'' effects are observed in simulations of multiple species of mRNA which are reliant on the same pool of tRNA resources. These simulations are based on a recent model of elongation which we use to study the translation of mRNA sequences from the \emph{Saccharomyces cerevisiae} genome. This model includes the dynamics of the use and recharging of amino acid tRNA complexes, and we show via Monte Carlo simulation that this has a dramatic effect on the protein production behaviour of the system.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1002203
Number of pages16
JournalPLoS Computational Biology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2011


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