Translation is the set of mechanisms by which ribosomes decode genetic messages as they synthesize polypeptides of a defined amino acid sequence. While the ribosome has been honed by evolution for high-fidelity translation, errors are inevitable. Aberrant mRNAs, mRNA structure, defective ribosomes, interactions between nascent proteins and the ribosomal exit tunnel, and insufficient cellular resources, including low tRNA levels, can lead to functionally irreversible stalls. Life thus depends on quality control mechanisms that detect, disassemble and recycle stalled translation intermediates.
Keywords: CAT tails; LUCA; RQC; Ribosome-associated quality control; origins of life; peptide synthesis; protein translation; proteostasis.