2Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology, 67400 Illkirch-Graffenstaden, France
* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received July 30, 2020; Revised August 28, 2020; Accepted August 28, 2020
In response to stress, eubacteria reduce the level of protein synthesis and either disassemble ribosomes into the 30S and 50S subunits or turn them into translationally inactive 70S and 100S complexes. This helps the cell to solve two principal tasks: (i) to reduce the cost of protein biosynthesis under unfavorable conditions, and (ii) to preserve functional ribosomes for rapid recovery of protein synthesis until favorable conditions are restored. All known genes for ribosome silencing factors and hibernation proteins are located in the operons associated with the response to starvation as one of the stress factors, which helps the cells to coordinate the slowdown of protein synthesis with the overall stress response. It is possible that hibernation systems work as regulators that coordinate the intensity of protein synthesis with the energy state of bacterial cell. Taking into account the limited amount of nutrients in natural conditions and constant pressure of other stress factors, bacterial ribosome should remain most of time in a complex with the silencing/hibernation proteins. Therefore, hibernation is an additional stage between the ribosome recycling and translation initiation, at which the ribosome is maintained in a “preserved” state in the form of separate subunits, non-translating 70S particles, or 100S dimers. The evolution of the ribosome hibernation has occurred within a very long period of time; ribosome hibernation is a conserved mechanism that is essential for maintaining the energy- and resource-consuming process of protein biosynthesis in organisms living in changing environment under stress conditions.
KEY WORDS: ribosome, translation, hibernation, silencing