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BERNARDSVILLE, NJ, United States

Rosenblum G.,University of Pennsylvania | Chen C.,University of Pennsylvania | Kaur J.,Anima Cell Metrology, Inc | Cui X.,University of Pennsylvania | And 2 more authors.
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2012

We present a flexible, real-time-coupled transcription-translation assay that involves the continuous monitoring of fluorescent Emerald GFP formation. Along with numerical simulation of a reaction kinetics model, the assay permits quantitative estimation of the effects on full-length protein synthesis of various additions, subtractions or substitutions to the protein synthesis machinery. Since the assay uses continuous fluorescence monitoring, it is much simpler and more rapid than other assays of protein synthesis and is compatible with high-throughput formats. Straightforward alterations of the assay permit determination of (i) the fraction of ribosomes in a cell-free protein synthesis kit that is active in full-length protein synthesis and (ii) the relative activities in supporting protein synthesis of modified (e.g. mutated, fluorescent-labeled) exogenous components (ribosomes, amino acid-specific tRNAs) that replace the corresponding endogenous components. Ribosomes containing fluorescentlabeled L11 and tRNAs labeled with fluorophores in the D-loop retain substantial activity. In the latter case, the extent of activity loss correlates with a combination of steric bulk and hydrophobicity of the fluorophore. © The Author(s) 2012. Published by Oxford University Press. Source


Chen C.,University of Pennsylvania | Zhang H.,University of Pennsylvania | Broitman S.L.,West Chester University | Reiche M.,University of Pennsylvania | And 4 more authors.
Nature Structural and Molecular Biology | Year: 2013

During protein synthesis, the ribosome translates nucleotide triplets in single-stranded mRNA into polypeptide sequences. Strong downstream mRNA secondary structures, which must be unfolded for translation, can slow or even halt protein synthesis. Here we used single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer to determine reaction rates for specific steps within the elongation cycle as the Escherichia coli ribosome encounters stem-loop or pseudoknot mRNA secondary structures. Downstream stem-loops containing 100% GC base pairs decrease the rates of both tRNA translocation within the ribosome and deacylated tRNA dissociation from the ribosomal exit site (E site). Downstream stem-loops or pseudoknots containing both GC and AU pairs also decrease the rate of tRNA dissociation, but they have little effect on tRNA translocation rate. Thus, somewhat unexpectedly, unfolding of mRNA secondary structures is more closely coupled to E-site tRNA dissociation than to tRNA translocation. © 2013 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved. Source


Chen C.,University of Pennsylvania | Zhang H.,University of Pennsylvania | Broitman S.L.,West Chester University | Reiche M.,University of Pennsylvania | And 3 more authors.
Nature Structural and Molecular Biology | Year: 2013

During protein synthesis, the ribosome translates nucleotide triplets in single-stranded mRNA into polypeptide sequences. Strong downstream mRNA secondary structures, which must be unfolded for translation, can slow or even halt protein synthesis. Here we used single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer to determine reaction rates for specific steps within the elongation cycle as the Escherichia coli ribosome encounters stem-loop or pseudoknot mRNA secondary structures. Downstream stem-loops containing 100% GC base pairs decrease the rates of both tRNA translocation within the ribosome and deacylated tRNA dissociation from the ribosomal exit site (E site). Downstream stem-loops or pseudoknots containing both GC and AU pairs also decrease the rate of tRNA dissociation, but they have little effect on tRNA translocation rate. Thus, somewhat unexpectedly, unfolding of mRNA secondary structures is more closely coupled to E-site tRNA dissociation than to tRNA translocation. Source


Barhoom S.,Tel Aviv University | Kaur J.,University of Pennsylvania | Cooperman B.S.,University of Pennsylvania | Smorodinsky N.I.,Tel Aviv University | And 3 more authors.
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2011

We have developed a novel technique of using fluorescent tRNA for translation monitoring (FtTM). FtTM enables the identification and monitoring of active protein synthesis sites within live cells at submicron resolution through quantitative microscopy of transfected bulk uncharged tRNA, fluorescently labeled in the D-loop (fl-tRNA). The localization of fl-tRNA to active translation sites was confirmed through its co-localization with cellular factors and its dynamic alterations upon inhibition of protein synthesis. Moreover, fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) signals, generated when fl-tRNAs, separately labeled as a FRET pair occupy adjacent sites on the ribosome, quantitatively reflect levels of protein synthesis in defined cellular regions. In addition, FRET signals enable detection of intra-populational variability in protein synthesis activity. We demonstrate that FtTM allows quantitative comparison of protein synthesis between different cell types, monitoring effects of antibiotics and stress agents, and characterization of changes in spatial compartmentalization of protein synthesis upon viral infection. © The Author(s) 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. Source


Kaur J.,University of Pennsylvania | Kaur J.,Anima Cell Metrology, Inc | Raj M.,University of Pennsylvania | Raj M.,New York University | Cooperman B.S.,University of Pennsylvania
RNA | Year: 2011

Dihydrouridine (DHU) positions within tRNAs have long been used as sites to covalently attach fluorophores, by virtue of their unique chemical reactivity toward reduction by NaBH4, their abundance within prokaryotic and eukaryotic tRNAs, and the biochemical functionality of the labeled tRNAs so produced. Interpretation of experiments employing labeled tRNAs can depend on knowing the distribution of dye among the DHU positions present in a labeled tRNA. Here we combine matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectroscopy (MALDI-MS) analysis of oligonucleotide fragments and thin layer chromatography to resolve and quantify sites of DHU labeling by the fluorophores Cy3, Cy5, and proflavin in Escherichia coli tRNAPhe and E. coli tRNAArg. The MALDI-MS results led us to re-examine the precise chemistry of the reactions that result in fluorophore introduction into tRNA. We demonstrate that, in contrast to an earlier suggestion that has long been unchallenged in the literature, such introduction proceeds via a substitution reaction on tetrahydrouridine, the product of NaBH4 reduction of DHU, resulting in formation of substituted tetrahydrocytidines within tRNA. Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. Copyright © 2011 RNA Society. Source

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