Translational control is an essential regulatory mechanism in immune cells. Although it has been suggested that poly(A) tail length-mediated translational control plays important roles in regulating select cytokine production in memory T cells and macrophages, whether this is a transcriptome-wide regulatory principle in all immune cells remains unknown. We set out to perform RNA-seq, ribosome-footprint profiling and poly(A) tail length profiling across major types of immune cells to examine the relationship between poly(A) tail length and translational efficiency in these systems. We also plan to delineate the transcriptome-wide landscape of poly(A) tail length before and after immune activation, and investigate if the coupling of poly(A) tail length and translational efficiency plays a regulatory role in this process.
Meanwhile, to understand the general mechanistic details of how poly(A) tail length affects translational efficiency in a cell context-dependent manner, we carried out RNA pull-down experiments and isolated proteins from known coupled (Xenopus oocytes) and uncoupled (rabbit reticulocyte lysates) systems. By quantitative mass spectrometry analysis, we identified key factors that are responsible for coupling translational efficiency to poly(A) tail length. Among these candidates, poly(A) binding protein (PABPC1) plays an essential role. Overexpression of PABPC1 in Xenopus oocytes renders the translation of reporter RNAs with either a short poly(A) tail or a long poly(A) tail equally well, turning a coupled system into an uncoupled system. We have also generated an effective degron-induced PABPC1-knockdown cell line and are performing analysis to see if the coupling can be established in a normally uncoupled system. Our results suggest that cells can modify the expression of PABPC1 to help determine if poly(A) tail length regulates translational efficiency.
Citation Format: Kehui Xiang, David Bartel. Importance and mechanism of poly(A) tail length-mediated translational control in different immune cells [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Second CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference: Translating Science into Survival; 2016 Sept 25-28; New York, NY. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Immunol Res 2016;4(11 Suppl):Abstract nr B132.
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