Insights into the mechanisms of eukaryotic translation gained with ribosome profiling
The development of Ribosome Profiling (RiboSeq) has revolutionized functional genomics. RiboSeq is based on capturing and sequencing of the mRNA fragments enclosed within the translating ribosome and it thereby provides a ‘snapshot’ of ribosome positions at the transcriptome wide level. Although the method is predominantly used for analysis of differential gene expression and discovery of novel translated ORFs, the RiboSeq data can also be a rich source of information about molecular mechanisms of polypeptide synthesis and translational control. This review will focus on how recent findings made with RiboSeq have revealed important details of the molecular mechanisms of translation in eukaryotes. These include mRNA translation sensitivity to drugs affecting translation initiation and elongation, the roles of upstream ORFs in response to stress, the dynamics of elongation and termination as well as details of intrinsic ribosome behavior on the mRNA after translation termination. As the RiboSeq method is still at a relatively early stage we will also discuss the implications of RiboSeq artifacts on data interpretation.
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