The ribosome-associated quality control (RQC) pathway degrades nascent chains (NCs) arising from interrupted translation. First, recycling factors split stalled ribosomes, yielding NC-tRNA/60S ribosome-nascent chain complexes (60S RNCs). 60S RNCs associate with NEMF, which recruits the E3 ubiquitin ligase Listerin that ubiquitinates NCs. The mechanism of subsequent ribosomal release of Ub-NCs remains obscure. We found that, in non-ubiquitinated 60S RNCs and 80S RNCs formed on non-stop mRNAs, tRNA is not firmly fixed in the P site, which allows peptidyl-tRNA hydrolase Ptrh1 to cleave NC-tRNA, suggesting the existence of a pathway involving release of non-ubiquitinated NCs. Association with NEMF and Listerin and ubiquitination of NCs results in accommodation of NC-tRNA, rendering 60S RNCs resistant to Ptrh1 but susceptible to ANKZF1, which induces specific cleavage in the tRNA acceptor arm, releasing proteasome-degradable Ub-NCs linked to four 3'-terminal tRNA nucleotides. We also found that TCF25, a poorly characterized RQC component, ensures preferential formation of the K48-ubiquitin linkage.
Keywords: ANKZF1; Listerin; NEMF; Ptrh1; TCF25; Vms1; proteasomal degradation; ribosome-associated quality control; ubiquitination.
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