Inferring efficiency of translation initiation and elongation from ribosome profiling

J. Szavits-Nossan, Luca Ciandrini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One of the main goals of ribosome profiling is to quantify the rate of protein synthesis at the level of translation. Here, we develop a method for inferring translation elongation kinetics from ribosome profiling data using recent advances in the mathematical modelling of mRNA translation. Our method distinguishes between the elongation rate intrinsic to the ribosome’s
stepping cycle and the actual elongation rate that takes into account ribosome interference. This distinction allows us to quantify the extent of ribosomal collisions along the transcript and identify individual codons where ribosomal collisions are likely. When examining ribosome profiling in yeast, we observe that translation initiation and elongation are close to their optima, and traffic is minimised at the beginning of the transcript to favour ribosome recruitment. However, we find many individual sites of congestion along the mRNAs where the probability of ribosome interference can reach 50%. Our work
provides new measures of translation initiation and elongation efficiencies, emphasising the importance of rating these two stages of translation separately.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2020


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