G3BP1-linked mRNA partitioning supports selective protein synthesis in response to oxidative stress

Nucleic Acids Res. 2020 Jul 9;48(12):6855-6873. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkaa376.


Cells limit energy-consuming mRNA translation during stress to maintain metabolic homeostasis. Sequestration of mRNAs by RNA binding proteins (RBPs) into RNA granules reduces their translation, but it remains unclear whether RBPs also function in partitioning of specific transcripts to polysomes (PSs) to guide selective translation and stress adaptation in cancer. To study transcript partitioning under cell stress, we catalogued mRNAs enriched in prostate carcinoma PC-3 cell PSs, as defined by polysome fractionation and RNA sequencing (RNAseq), and compared them to mRNAs complexed with the known SG-nucleator protein, G3BP1, as defined by spatially-restricted enzymatic tagging and RNAseq. By comparing these compartments before and after short-term arsenite-induced oxidative stress, we identified three major categories of transcripts, namely those that were G3BP1-associated and PS-depleted, G3BP1-dissociated and PS-enriched, and G3BP1-associated but also PS-enriched. Oxidative stress profoundly altered the partitioning of transcripts between these compartments. Under arsenite stress, G3BP1-associated and PS-depleted transcripts correlated with reduced expression of encoded mitochondrial proteins, PS-enriched transcripts that disassociated from G3BP1 encoded cell cycle and cytoprotective proteins whose expression increased, while transcripts that were both G3BP1-associated and PS-enriched encoded proteins involved in diverse stress response pathways. Therefore, G3BP1 guides transcript partitioning to reprogram mRNA translation and support stress adaptation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arsenites / toxicity
  • Carcinoma / genetics
  • Carcinoma / metabolism
  • Cytoplasmic Granules / genetics
  • DNA Helicases / genetics*
  • Energy Metabolism / genetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / genetics*
  • Poly-ADP-Ribose Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Protein Biosynthesis / genetics*
  • RNA Helicases / genetics*
  • RNA Recognition Motif Proteins / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / genetics


  • Arsenites
  • Poly-ADP-Ribose Binding Proteins
  • RNA Recognition Motif Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • DNA Helicases
  • G3BP1 protein, human
  • RNA Helicases
  • arsenite