Single molecule imaging of the trans-translation entry process via anchoring of the tagged ribosome

Zhan Ping Zhou*, Yoshihiro Shimizu, Hisashi Tadakuma, Hideki Taguchi, Koichi Ito, Takuya Ueda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Trans-translation is an eubacterial quality control system to rescue the stalled ribosome, in which multiple components such as transfer messenger RNA (tmRNA) and Small protein B (SmpB) are involved. However, how these molecules interact with ribosome remains elusive. Here, we report the single molecule analysis of the trans-translation process. We developed a new method to label the functional ribosome, in which a tag protein (the HaloTag protein of 297 amino acids) was fused to the 30S ribosomal protein S2 and covalently labelled with specific ligand (HaloTag ligand), resulting in the stable and specific labelling of ribosome. Ribosomes were anchored onto the glass surface using biotinylated derivative of the Cy3 HaloTag ligand (i.e. biotin-Cy3-ligand), and real-time interactions of Cy5-tmRNA/SmpB/EF-Tu ternary complexes with anchored ribosomes are observed as a model of the trans-translation entry. Statistical analysis revealed that Cy5-tmRNA/SmpB/EF-Tu ternary complexes bind to the anchored ribosome with the second-order rate constant of 2.6 × 10 6 (1/M/s) and tmRNAs undergo multi-modal pathway before release from ribosome. The methods presented here are also applicable to the analysis for general translation processes. The Authors 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Japanese Biochemical Society. All rights reserved2011

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-618
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of biochemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011 May
Externally publishedYes


  • HaloTag
  • ribosome
  • single molecule
  • tmRNA
  • trans-translation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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