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Immunoprecipitation of Reporter Nascent Chains from Active Ribosomes to Study Translation Efficiency.

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Cacioppo, Roberta 
Lindon, Catherine 


The study of translation is important to the understanding of gene expression. While genome-wide measurements of translation efficiency (TE) rely upon ribosome profiling, classical approaches to address translation of individual genes of interest rely on biochemical methods, such as polysome fractionation and immunoprecipitation (IP) of ribosomal components, or on reporter constructs, such as luciferase reporters. Methods to investigate translation have been developed that, however, require considerable research effort, including addition of numerous features to mRNA regions, genomic integration of reporters, and complex data analysis. Here, we describe a simple biochemical reporter assay to study TE of mRNAs expressed from a transiently transfected plasmid, which we term Nascent Chain Immunoprecipitation (NC IP). The assay is based on a plasmid expressing an N-terminally Flag-tagged protein and relies on the IP of Flag-tagged nascent chains from elongating ribosomes, followed by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) quantification of eluted mRNA. We report that elution of mRNA following IP can be achieved by treatment with puromycin, which releases ribosome-mRNA complexes, or with purified Flag peptide, which instead releases nascent chain-ribosome-mRNA complexes. In the example described in this protocol, untranslated regions (UTRs) of a gene of interest were used to flank a FlagVenus coding sequence, with the method allowing to infer UTR-dependent regulation of TE. Importantly, our method enables discrimination of translating from non-translating mRNAs. Additionally, it requires simple procedures and standard laboratory equipment. Our method can be used to test the effect of regulators, such as microRNAs or therapeutic drugs or of various genetic backgrounds, on translation of any user-selected mRNA. Key features • The novel NC IP protocol builds upon a previously published method for detection of mRNA-binding proteins (Williams et al., 2022). • The NC IP protocol is adapted for detecting mRNA actively undergoing translation. • The method uses mammalian cell culture but could be adapted to multiple organisms, including budding yeast (S. cerevisiae).



Nascent chain immunoprecipitation, One-step RT-qPCR, Reporter assay, Transient transfection, UTR regulation, mRNA translation

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Bio Protoc

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Bio-Protocol, LLC
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/R004137/1)

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2023-10-09 15:36:17
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2023-07-11 23:33:59
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