Ribosome-associated quality control pathways respond to defects in translational elongation to recycle arrested ribosomes and degrade aberrant polypeptides and mRNAs. Loss of an individual tRNA gene leads to ribosomal pausing that is resolved by the translational GTPase GTPBP2, and in its absence causes neuron death. Here we show that loss of the homologous protein GTPBP1 during tRNA deficiency in the mouse brain also leads to codon-specific ribosome pausing and neurodegeneration, suggesting that these non-redundant translational GTPases function in the same pathway to mitigate ribosome pausing. Ribosome stalling in the mutant brain led to activation of the integrated stress response (ISR) mediated by GCN2 and decreased mTORC1 signaling. However, in contrast to the ISR, which enhanced neuron survival, reduced mTORC1 signaling increased neuronal death. Our data demonstrate that GTPBP1 functions as an important quality control mechanism during translation elongation and suggest that translational signaling pathways intricately interact to regulate neuronal homeostasis during defective translation elongation.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience