Costs of ribosomal RNA stabilization affect ribosome composition at maximum growth rate

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelPeer Reviewed


Ribosomes are key to cellular self-fabrication and limit growth rate. While most enzymes are proteins, ribosomes consist of 1/3 protein and 2/3 ribonucleic acid (RNA) (in E. coli). Here, we develop a mechanistic model of a self-fabricating cell, validated across diverse growth conditions. Through resource balance analysis (RBA), we explore the variation in maximum growth rate with ribosome composition, assuming constant kinetic parameters. Our model highlights the importance of RNA instability. If we neglect it, RNA synthesis is always cheaper than protein synthesis, leading to an RNA-only ribosome at maximum growth rate. Upon accounting for RNA turnover, we find that a mixed ribosome composed of RNA and proteins maximizes growth rate. To account for RNA turnover, we explore two scenarios regarding the activity of RNases. In (a) degradation is proportional to RNA content. In (b) ribosomal proteins cooperatively mitigate RNA instability by protecting it from misfolding and subsequent degradation. In both cases, higher protein content elevates protein synthesis costs and simultaneously lowers RNA turnover expenses, resulting in mixed RNA-protein ribosomes. Only scenario (b) aligns qualitatively with experimental data across varied growth conditions. Our research provides fresh insights into ribosome biogenesis and evolution, paving the way for understanding protein-rich ribosomes in archaea and mitochondria.

FachzeitschriftCommunications Biology
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - Dez. 2024

ÖFOS 2012

  • 104004 Chemische Biologie
  • 301303 Medizinische Biochemie
  • 106005 Bioinformatik