Dynamics of ribosomes in mRNA translation under steady and non-steady state conditions

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Recent advances in DNA sequencing and fluorescence imaging have made it possible to monitor the dynamics of ribosomes actively engaged in messenger RNA (mRNA) translation. Here, we model these experiments within the inhomogeneous totally asymmetric simple exclusion process (TASEP) using realistic kinetic parameters. In particular we present analytic expressions to describe the following three cases: (a) translation of a newly transcribed mRNA, (b) translation in the steady state and, specifically the dynamics of individual (tagged) ribosomes and (c) run-off translation after inhibition of translation initiation. In the cases (b) and (c) we develop an effective medium approximation to describe many-ribosome dynamics in terms of a single tagged ribosome in an effective medium. The predictions are in good agreement with stochastic simulations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number062404
Number of pages12
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2020


  • physics.bio-ph
  • cond-mat.stat-mech


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