PUNCH-P for global translatome profiling: Methodology, insights and comparison to other techniques
Regulation of mRNA translation is a major modulator of gene expression, allowing cells to fine tune protein levels during growth and differentiation and in response to physiological signals and environmental changes. Mass-spectrometry and RNA-sequencing methods now enable global profiling of the translatome, but these still involve significant analytical and economical limitations. We developed a novel system-wide proteomic approach for direct monitoring of translation, termed PUromycin-associated Nascent CHain Proteomics (PUNCH-P), which is based on the recovery of ribosome-nascent chain complexes from cells or tissues followed by incorporation of biotinylated puromycin into newly-synthesized proteins. Biotinylated proteins are then purified by streptavidin and analyzed by mass-spectrometry. Here we present an overview of PUNCH-P, describe other methodologies for global translatome profiling (pSILAC, BONCAT, TRAP/Ribo-tag, Ribo-seq) and provide conceptual comparisons between these methods. We also show how PUNCH-P data can be combined with mRNA measurements to determine relative translation efficiency for specific mRNAs.
In eukaryotes, mRNA translation is dependent on the cap-binding protein eIF4E. Through its simultaneous interaction with the mRNA cap structure and with the ribosome-associated eIF4G adaptor protein, eIF4E physically posits the ribosome at the 5′ extremity of capped mRNA. eIF4E activity is regulated by phosphorylation on a unique site by the eIF4G-associated kinase MNK. eIF4E assembly with the eIF4G-MNK sub-complex can be however antagonized by the hypophosphorylated forms of eIF4E-binding protein (4E-BP). We show here that eIF4E phosphorylation is dramatically affected by disruption of eIF4E-eIF4G interaction, independently of changes in MNK expression. eIF4E phosphorylation is actually strongly downregulated upon eIF4G shutdown or upon sequestration by hypophosphorylated 4E-BP, consequent to mTOR inhibition. Downregulation of 4E-BP renders eIF4E phosphorylation insensitive to mTOR inhibition. These data highlight the important role of 4E-BP in regulating eIF4E phosphorylation independently of changes in MNK expression.