Analysis of tetra- and hepta-nucleotides motifs promoting -1 ribosomal frameshifting in Escherichia coli

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Sharma, Virag
Prère, Marie-Francoise
Canal, Isabelle
Firth, Andrew E.
Atkins, John F.
Baranov, Pavel V.
Fayet, Olivier
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Oxford University Press
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Programmed ribosomal -1 frameshifting is a non-standard decoding process occurring when ribosomes encounter a signal embedded in the mRNA of certain eukaryotic and prokaryotic genes. This signal has a mandatory component, the frameshift motif: it is either a Z_ZZN tetramer or a X_XXZ_ZZN heptamer (where ZZZ and XXX are three identical nucleotides) allowing cognate or near-cognate repairing to the -1 frame of the A site or A and P sites tRNAs. Depending on the signal, the frameshifting frequency can vary over a wide range, from less than 1% to more than 50%. The present study combines experimental and bioinformatics approaches to carry out (i) a systematic analysis of the frameshift propensity of all possible motifs (16 Z_ZZN tetramers and 64 X_XXZ_ZZN heptamers) in Escherichia coli and (ii) the identification of genes potentially using this mode of expression amongst 36 Enterobacteriaceae genomes. While motif efficiency varies widely, a major distinctive rule of bacterial -1 frameshifting is that the most efficient motifs are those allowing cognate re-pairing of the A site tRNA from ZZN to ZZZ. The outcome of the genomic search is a set of 69 gene clusters, 59 of which constitute new candidates for functional utilization of -1 frameshifting.
Site transfer RNA , Messenger RNA , Gene expression , Translational control , Prokaryotic genomes , Mutational analysis , Bacterial genes , Coding regions , P site , Sequence
Sharma, V., Prère, M.-F., Canal, I., Firth, A. E., Atkins, J. F., Baranov, P. V. and Fayet, O. (2014) 'Analysis of tetra- and hepta-nucleotides motifs promoting -1 ribosomal frameshifting in Escherichia coli', Nucleic Acids Research, 42(11), pp. 7210-7225. doi: 10.1093/nar/gku386