Collided ribosomes form a unique structural interface to induce Hel2-driven quality control pathways

EMBO J. 2019 Mar 1;38(5):e100276. doi: 10.15252/embj.2018100276. Epub 2019 Jan 4.


Ribosome stalling triggers quality control pathways targeting the mRNA (NGD: no-go decay) and the nascent polypeptide (RQC: ribosome-associated quality control). RQC requires Hel2-dependent uS10 ubiquitination and the RQT complex in yeast. Here, we report that Hel2-dependent uS10 ubiquitination and Slh1/Rqt2 are crucial for RQC and NGD induction within a di-ribosome (disome) unit, which consists of the leading stalled ribosome and the following colliding ribosome. Hel2 preferentially ubiquitinated a disome over a monosome on a quality control inducing reporter mRNA in an in vitro translation reaction. Cryo-EM analysis of the disome unit revealed a distinct structural arrangement suitable for recognition and modification by Hel2. The absence of the RQT complex or uS10 ubiquitination resulted in the elimination of NGD within the disome unit. Instead, we observed Hel2-mediated cleavages upstream of the disome, governed by initial Not4-mediated monoubiquitination of eS7 and followed by Hel2-mediated K63-linked polyubiquitination. We propose that Hel2-mediated ribosome ubiquitination is required both for canonical NGD (NGDRQC+) and RQC coupled to the disome and that RQC-uncoupled NGD outside the disome (NGDRQC-) can occur in a Not4-dependent manner.

Keywords: RQT complex; no‐go mRNA decay; ribosome collision; ribosome quality control; ubiquitination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cryoelectron Microscopy
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • RNA Stability
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • Ribosomal Proteins / genetics
  • Ribosomal Proteins / metabolism
  • Ribosomes / metabolism*
  • Ribosomes / ultrastructure*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism*
  • Ubiquitin / metabolism*
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / genetics
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / metabolism*
  • Ubiquitination


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Ribosomal Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Ubiquitin
  • Hel2 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases

Associated data