The efficient assembly of ribosomes requires a balanced synthesis of ribosomal RNA and each ribosomal protein. In an attempt to establish the mechanisms responsible for such balanced synthesis we have altered the gene dosage for one of the components by introducing into yeast an autonomously replicating plasmid containing the gene tcm1, which codes for ribosomal protein L3. The plasmid is maintained at 5-10 copies per cell by selection for expression of its URA3 gene. The plasmid-containing cells transcribe 7.5 times as much L3 mRNA as control cells, maintain 3.5 times as much L3 mRNA as control cells and synthesize no more than 1.2 times as much L3 protein as control cells. We conclude that the balanced synthesis of ribosomal proteins is maintained by modulating both the efficiency of translation and the lifetime of their mRNAs. © 1982.
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