The architecture of eukaryotic translation
Translation in baker’s yeast involves the coordinated interaction of 200 000 ribosomes, 3 000 000 tRNAs and between 15 000 and 60 000 mRNAs. It is currently unknown whether this specific constellation of components has particular relevance for the requirements of the yeast proteome, or whether this is simply a frozen accident. Our study uses a computational simulation model of the genome-wide translational apparatus of yeast to explore quantitatively which combinations of mRNAs, ribosomes and tRNAs can produce viable proteomes. Surprisingly, we find that if we only consider total translational activity over time without regard to composition of the proteome, then there are many and widely differing combinations that can generate equivalent synthesis yields. In contrast, translational activity required for generating specific proteomes can only be achieved within a much more constrained parameter space. Furthermore, we find that strongly ribosome limited regimes are optimal for cells in that they are resource efficient and simplify the dynamics of the system.