30 April 2022

In situ structure of a eukaryotic 100 S ribosome

Gil-Diez, P., McLaren, M. Isupov, M.N., Conners, R., Gambelli, L., Gold, V., Connell, S., Williams, B., and Daum, B. - Biorxiv, 2022


Translational control is an essential process for the cell to adapt to varying physiological or environmental conditions. To survive adverse conditions such as low nutrient levels, translation can be shut down almost entirely by inhibiting ribosomal function. Here we investigated eukaryotic hibernating ribosomes from the microsporidian parasite Spraguea lophii in situ by a combination of cryo-electron tomography (cryoET) and single particle cryoEM. We show that microsporidian spores contain ribosomes primed for host cell invasion and thus shed new light on the infection mechanism of this important pathogen. Prior to host infection, virtually all ribosomes are locked in the 100 S dimeric state, which appears to be formed by a unique dimerization mechanism that is distinct from its bacterial counterparts. Within the dimer, the hibernation factor MDF1 is bound within the E site, locking the L1 stalk in a closed conformation, and thus preventing the translation of mRNAs to polypeptides.

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