Simulating Atomic Force Microscopy images from cryo-EM maps of polyribosomes for studying geometrical parameters of the protein synthesis machinery with high-processivity.
Lorenzo L., Viero G.
The most energy consuming process in cells is protein synthesis that takes place on polyribosomes among the biggest machines formed by groups of ribosomes on a mRNA. While the structure of the ribosome has been widely studied, the organization of polyribosomes is not yet studied in detail. Here we used a modelling approach to fit the three-dimensional structure of human ribosomes into cryo-EM maps of disomes in four basic orientations and simulate AFM images. We studied the distribution of distances between next-neighbor ribosomes and compared them to experimental data. This framework allows a principled studying of super-structural organizations of thousands of polyribosomes in a detail and processivity never achieved before.