Co-translational recruitment of ribosomes in minimal protocells recreates a translocon-independent mechanism of proteorhodopsin biogenesis

Eaglesfield, R., Madsen, M. A., Sanyal, S., Reboud, J. and Amtmann, A. (2021) Co-translational recruitment of ribosomes in minimal protocells recreates a translocon-independent mechanism of proteorhodopsin biogenesis. iScience, 24(5), 102429. (doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2021.102429) (PMID:33997704) (PMCID:PMC8102411)

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Abstract

The emergence of lipid membranes and embedded proteins was essential for the evolution of cells. Translocon complexes mediate co-translational recruitment and membrane insertion of nascent proteins, but they already contain membrane-integral proteins. Therefore, a simpler mechanism must exist, enabling spontaneous membrane integration while preventing aggregation of un-chaperoned protein in aqueous phase. Here, we used giant unilamellar vesicles encapsulating minimal translation components to systematically interrogate the requirements for insertion of the model protein proteorhodopsin (PR) – a structurally ubiquitous membrane protein. We show that the N-terminal hydrophobic domain of PR is both necessary and sufficient for co-translational recruitment of ribosomes to the membrane and subsequent membrane insertion of PR. Insertion of N-terminally truncated PR was restored by artificially attaching ribosomes to the membrane. Our findings offer a self-sufficient protein-inherent mechanism as a possible explanation for effective membrane protein biogenesis in a ‘pre-translocon’ era, and they offer new opportunities for generating artificial cells.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was funded by the University of Glasgow (Lord Kelvin Adam Smith (LKAS) PhD scholarship to R.E.),by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC; BB/R019894/1 to M.A.M and A.A.), and by the Swedish Research Council grants (2016-06264, 2018-05946 and 2018-05498 to S.S.).
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Eaglesfield, Mr Ross and Reboud, Dr Julien and Madsen, Miss Mary Ann and Amtmann, Professor Anna
Authors: Eaglesfield, R., Madsen, M. A., Sanyal, S., Reboud, J., and Amtmann, A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Molecular Cell and Systems Biology
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
Journal Name:iScience
Publisher:Elsevier (Cell Press)
ISSN:2589-0042
ISSN (Online):2589-0042
Published Online:14 April 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in iScience 24(5): 102429
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
302195Combining chemical priming and quantitative genetics to increase salt tolerance of soybeanAnna AmtmannBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/R019894/1Institute of Molecular, Cell & Systems Biology