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Special Seminar - Paul Gardiner

School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury

Does RNA avoidance dictate protein expression level?

Biochemistry Seminar Room 231
May. 17, 2017
  • 13:00

Messenger RNA levels broadly correlate with their corresponding protein levels. But there can be considerable variation in [protein]/[mRNA] ratios. Just two general models have been proposed to explain this variation: codon usage and mRNA secondary structure. We have discovered what we think is a third general model: mRNA:ncRNA avoidance. We consider the probability that a mRNA will interact with the most abundant cellular RNAs, these include tRNAs, rRNAs, RNase P RNA and a number of other broadly conserved RNA families. We demonstrate that there is: 1. evolutionary selection against unfavourable ncRNA:mRNA interactions. 2. a correlation between [protein]/[mRNA] ratios and mRNA avoidance. 3. synthetic GFP mRNAs can be fine-tuned to produce more or less GFP by altering avoidance. 4. That regions of ribosomal RNAs have variable levels of mRNA avoidance, these correspond to the structural accessibility of the regions.

 

View paper at the journal's website.