Ribosome states signal RNA quality control

Mol Cell. 2021 Apr 1;81(7):1372-1383. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2021.02.022. Epub 2021 Mar 12.


Eukaryotic cells integrate multiple quality control (QC) responses during protein synthesis in the cytoplasm. These QC responses are signaled by slow or stalled elongating ribosomes. Depending on the nature of the delay, the signal may lead to translational repression, messenger RNA decay, ribosome rescue, and/or nascent protein degradation. Here, we discuss how the structure and composition of an elongating ribosome in a troubled state determine the downstream quality control pathway(s) that ensue. We highlight the intersecting pathways involved in RNA decay and the crosstalk that occurs between RNA decay and ribosome rescue.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Eukaryotic Cells / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Protein Biosynthesis / physiology*
  • RNA Stability / physiology*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • Ribosomes / metabolism*


  • RNA, Messenger