Published on July 1, 2011 in PLoS Genet volume 7.
PubMed ID: 21829385
Translation termination is a highly controlled process in the cell. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, various regulatory factors employ genetic and epigenetic mechanisms to control this process. We used a quantitative dual luciferase reporter assay to demonstrate a difference in translation termination efficiency between two different yeast strains, BY4724 and RM11-1a. We then used a recently developed linkage mapping technique, extreme QTL mapping (X-QTL), to show that this difference is largely explained by a coding polymorphism in TRM10 (which encodes a tRNA-methylating enzyme) and a regulatory polymorphism in SUP45 (which encodes one of the yeast translation termination factors). BY and RM carry variants of TRM10 and SUP45 with opposite effects on translation termination efficiency. These variants are common among 63 diverse S. cerevisiae strains and are in strong linkage disequilibrium with each other. This observation suggests that selection may have favored allelic combinations of the two genes that maintain an intermediate level of translation termination efficiency. Our results also provide genetic evidence for a new role of Trm10p in translation termination efficiency.