Precise regulation of mRNA translation is critical for proper cell division, but little is known about the factors that mediate it. To identify mRNA-binding proteins that regulate translation during mitosis, we analyzed the composition of polysomes from interphase and mitotic cells using unbiased quantitative mass-spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). We found that mitotic polysomes are enriched with a subset of proteins involved in RNA processing, including alternative splicing and RNA export. To demonstrate that these may indeed be regulators of translation, we focused on heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein C (hnRNP C) as a test case and confirmed that it is recruited to elongating ribosomes during mitosis. Then, using a combination of pulsed SILAC, metabolic labeling and ribosome profiling, we showed that knockdown of hnRNP C affects both global and transcript-specific translation rates and found that hnRNP C is specifically important for translation of mRNAs that encode ribosomal proteins and translation factors. Taken together, our results demonstrate how proteomic analysis of polysomes can provide insight into translation regulation under various cellular conditions of interest and suggest that hnRNP C facilitates production of translation machinery components during mitosis to provide daughter cells with the ability to efficiently synthesize proteins as they enter G1 phase.
© The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.