Effect of starvation on tRNA synthesis, amino acid pool, tRNA charging levels and aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase activities in the posterior silk gland of Bombyx mori L
Chavancy, G.; Fournier, A.
Biochimie 61(2): 229-243
Changes in the translational machinery components of the Bombyx mori posterior silk gland were analysed during starvation and refeeding and compared to the regularly fed larvae. During starvation, tRNA and ribosomal RNA synthesis are stopped. The amounts of different RNA classes and of the different tRNA species slow down at the same rate. Thus various tRNA show similar half-lifes and the preexisting tRNA adaptation to fibroin mRNA translation persists during starvation. Similarly, the tRNA/rRNA ratio is constant during starvation and refeeding (12 tRNA molecules for one ribosome) as in silk glands of control animals. Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases and tRNA charging levels are decreased during starvation. The maximal tRNA charging level obtained during maximal protein synthesis in control animals is regained after 24 h refeeding of starved larvae. Changes observed in the free amino acid pool are not similar from one amino acid to another and levels reached after starvation do not differ strongly from the controls. Our results suggest that the production of translation apparatus components is coordinated and adjusted to the protein synthesis activity. Whether this coordination occurs in the silk gland is discussed on the basis of the "metabolic regulation", primarily described in prokaryotes and Yeast. Transfer RNA charging levels seem to play a key role in the process of regulation and could be implicated in the mechanism of tRNA adaptation if this phenomenon results as expected from a transcriptional control.