Academic Appointments

  • Basic Life Science Research Associate, Biology

All Publications

  • Proteostasis in Viral Infection: Unfolding the Complex Virus-Chaperone Interplay COLD SPRING HARBOR PERSPECTIVES IN BIOLOGY Aviner, R., Frydman, J. 2020; 12 (3)
  • The science of puromycin: From studies of ribosome function to applications in biotechnology. Computational and structural biotechnology journal Aviner, R. 2020; 18: 1074–83


    Puromycin is a naturally occurring aminonucleoside antibiotic that inhibits protein synthesis by ribosome-catalyzed incorporation into the C-terminus of elongating nascent chains, blocking further extension and resulting in premature termination of translation. It is most commonly known as a selection marker for cell lines genetically engineered to express a resistance transgene, but its additional uses as a probe for protein synthesis have proven invaluable across a wide variety of model systems, ranging from purified ribosomes and cell-free translation to intact cultured cells and whole animals. Puromycin is comprised of a nucleoside covalently bound to an amino acid, mimicking the 3' end of aminoacylated tRNAs that participate in delivery of amino acids to elongating ribosomes. Both moieties can tolerate some chemical substitutions and modifications without significant loss of activity, generating a diverse toolbox of puromycin-based reagents with added functionality, such as biotin for affinity purification or fluorophores for fluorescent microscopy detection. These reagents, as well as anti-puromycin antibodies, have played a pivotal role in advancing our understanding of the regulation and dysregulation of protein synthesis in normal and pathological processes, including immune response and neurological function. This manuscript reviews the current state of puromycin-based research, including structure and mechanism of action, relevant derivatives, use in advanced methodologies and some of the major insights generated using such techniques both in the lab and the clinic.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.csbj.2020.04.014

    View details for PubMedID 32435426

  • Proteostasis in Viral Infection: Unfolding the Complex Virus-Chaperone Interplay. Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology Aviner, R., Frydman, J. 2019


    Viruses are obligate intracellular parasites that rely on their hosts for protein synthesis, genome replication, and viral particle production. As such, they have evolved mechanisms to divert host resources, including molecular chaperones, facilitate folding and assembly of viral proteins, stabilize complex structures under constant mutational pressure, and modulate signaling pathways to dampen antiviral responses and prevent premature host death. Biogenesis of viral proteins often presents unique challenges to the proteostasis network, as it requires the rapid and orchestrated production of high levels of a limited number of multifunctional, multidomain, and aggregation-prone proteins. To overcome such challenges, viruses interact with the folding machinery not only as clients but also as regulators of chaperone expression, function, and subcellular localization. In this review, we summarize the main types of interactions between viral proteins and chaperones during infection, examine evolutionary aspects of this relationship, and discuss the potential of using chaperone inhibitors as broad-spectrum antivirals.

    View details for PubMedID 30858229

  • Proteomic analysis of polyribosomes identifies splicing factors as potential regulators of translation during mitosis NUCLEIC ACIDS RESEARCH Aviner, R., Hofmann, S., Elman, T., Shenoy, A., Geiger, T., Elkon, R., Ehrlich, M., Elroy-Stein, O. 2017; 45 (10): 5945–57


    Precise regulation of mRNA translation is critical for proper cell division, but little is known about the factors that mediate it. To identify mRNA-binding proteins that regulate translation during mitosis, we analyzed the composition of polysomes from interphase and mitotic cells using unbiased quantitative mass-spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). We found that mitotic polysomes are enriched with a subset of proteins involved in RNA processing, including alternative splicing and RNA export. To demonstrate that these may indeed be regulators of translation, we focused on heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein C (hnRNP C) as a test case and confirmed that it is recruited to elongating ribosomes during mitosis. Then, using a combination of pulsed SILAC, metabolic labeling and ribosome profiling, we showed that knockdown of hnRNP C affects both global and transcript-specific translation rates and found that hnRNP C is specifically important for translation of mRNAs that encode ribosomal proteins and translation factors. Taken together, our results demonstrate how proteomic analysis of polysomes can provide insight into translation regulation under various cellular conditions of interest and suggest that hnRNP C facilitates production of translation machinery components during mitosis to provide daughter cells with the ability to efficiently synthesize proteins as they enter G1 phase.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/nar/gkx326

    View details for Web of Science ID 000402510700042

    View details for PubMedID 28460002

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5449605

  • Complementary Post Transcriptional Regulatory Information is Detected by PUNCH-P and Ribosome Profiling SCIENTIFIC REPORTS Zur, H., Aviner, R., Tuller, T. 2016; 6: 21635


    Two novel approaches were recently suggested for genome-wide identification of protein aspects synthesized at a given time. Ribo-Seq is based on sequencing all the ribosome protected mRNA fragments in a cell, while PUNCH-P is based on mass-spectrometric analysis of only newly synthesized proteins. Here we describe the first Ribo-Seq/PUNCH-P comparison via the analysis of mammalian cells during the cell-cycle for detecting relevant differentially expressed genes between G1 and M phase. Our analyses suggest that the two approaches significantly overlap with each other. However, we demonstrate that there are biologically meaningful proteins/genes that can be detected to be post-transcriptionally regulated during the mammalian cell cycle only by each of the approaches, or their consolidation. Such gene sets are enriched with proteins known to be related to intra-cellular signalling pathways such as central cell cycle processes, central gene expression regulation processes, processes related to chromosome segregation, DNA damage, and replication, that are post-transcriptionally regulated during the mammalian cell cycle. Moreover, we show that combining the approaches better predicts steady state changes in protein abundance. The results reported here support the conjecture that for gaining a full post-transcriptional regulation picture one should integrate the two approaches.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/srep21635

    View details for Web of Science ID 000370506800001

    View details for PubMedID 26898226

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4761937

  • Uncovering Hidden Layers of Cell Cycle Regulation through Integrative Multi-omic Analysis PLOS GENETICS Aviner, R., Shenoy, A., Elroy-Stein, O., Geiger, T. 2015; 11 (10): e1005554


    Studying the complex relationship between transcription, translation and protein degradation is essential to our understanding of biological processes in health and disease. The limited correlations observed between mRNA and protein abundance suggest pervasive regulation of post-transcriptional steps and support the importance of profiling mRNA levels in parallel to protein synthesis and degradation rates. In this work, we applied an integrative multi-omic approach to study gene expression along the mammalian cell cycle through side-by-side analysis of mRNA, translation and protein levels. Our analysis sheds new light on the significant contribution of both protein synthesis and degradation to the variance in protein expression. Furthermore, we find that translation regulation plays an important role at S-phase, while progression through mitosis is predominantly controlled by changes in either mRNA levels or protein stability. Specific molecular functions are found to be co-regulated and share similar patterns of mRNA, translation and protein expression along the cell cycle. Notably, these include genes and entire pathways not previously implicated in cell cycle progression, demonstrating the potential of this approach to identify novel regulatory mechanisms beyond those revealed by traditional expression profiling. Through this three-level analysis, we characterize different mechanisms of gene expression, discover new cycling gene products and highlight the importance and utility of combining datasets generated using different techniques that monitor distinct steps of gene expression.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005554

    View details for Web of Science ID 000364401600023

    View details for PubMedID 26439921

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4595013

  • Genome-wide identification and quantification of protein synthesis in cultured cells and whole tissues by puromycin-associated nascent chain proteomics (PUNCH-P) NATURE PROTOCOLS Aviner, R., Geiger, T., Elroy-Stein, O. 2014; 9 (4): 751–60


    Regulation of mRNA translation has a pivotal role in modulating protein levels, and the genome-wide identification of proteins synthesized at a given time is indispensable to our understanding of gene expression. This protocol describes the mass-spectrometric analysis of newly synthesized proteins from cultured cells or whole tissues by using a biotinylated derivative of puromycin, which becomes incorporated into nascent polypeptide chains by ribosome catalysis. In this method, termed puromycin-associated nascent chain proteomics (PUNCH-P), intact ribosome-nascent chain complexes are first recovered from cells by ultracentrifugation, followed by biotin-puromycin labeling of newly synthesized proteins, streptavidin affinity purification and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Unlike methods that require in vivo labeling, the sensitivity and coverage of PUNCH-P depend only on the amount of starting material and not on the duration of labeling, thus enabling the measurement of rapid fluctuations in protein synthesis. The protocol requires 3 d for sample preparation and analysis.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nprot.2014.051

    View details for Web of Science ID 000333752100002

    View details for PubMedID 24603934

  • Novel proteomic approach (PUNCH-P) reveals cell cycle-specific fluctuations in mRNA translation GENES & DEVELOPMENT Aviner, R., Geiger, T., Elroy-Stein, O. 2013; 27 (16): 1834–44


    Monitoring protein synthesis is essential to our understanding of gene expression regulation, as protein abundance is thought to be predominantly controlled at the level of translation. Mass-spectrometric and RNA sequencing methods have been recently developed for investigating mRNA translation at a global level, but these still involve technical limitations and are not widely applicable. In this study, we describe a novel system-wide proteomic approach for direct monitoring of translation, termed puromycin-associated nascent chain proteomics (PUNCH-P), which is based on incorporation of biotinylated puromycin into newly synthesized proteins under cell-free conditions followed by streptavidin affinity purification and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis. Using PUNCH-P, we measured cell cycle-specific fluctuations in synthesis for >5000 proteins in mammalian cells, identified proteins not previously implicated in cell cycle processes, and generated the first translational profile of a whole mouse brain. This simple and economical technique is broadly applicable to any cell type and tissue, enabling the identification and quantification of rapid proteome responses under various biological conditions.

    View details for DOI 10.1101/gad.219105.113

    View details for Web of Science ID 000323416000009

    View details for PubMedID 23934657

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3759699

  • PUNCH-P for global translatome profiling Methodology, insights and comparison to other techniques TRANSLATION Aviner, R., Geiger, T., Elroy-Stein, O. 2013; 1 (2): e27516


    Regulation of mRNA translation is a major modulator of gene expression, allowing cells to fine tune protein levels during growth and differentiation and in response to physiological signals and environmental changes. Mass-spectrometry and RNA-sequencing methods now enable global profiling of the translatome, but these still involve significant analytical and economical limitations. We developed a novel system-wide proteomic approach for direct monitoring of translation, termed PUromycin-associated Nascent CHain Proteomics (PUNCH-P), which is based on the recovery of ribosome-nascent chain complexes from cells or tissues followed by incorporation of biotinylated puromycin into newly-synthesized proteins. Biotinylated proteins are then purified by streptavidin and analyzed by mass-spectrometry. Here we present an overview of PUNCH-P, describe other methodologies for global translatome profiling (pSILAC, BONCAT, TRAP/Ribo-tag, Ribo-seq) and provide conceptual comparisons between these methods. We also show how PUNCH-P data can be combined with mRNA measurements to determine relative translation efficiency for specific mRNAs.

    View details for DOI 10.4161/trla.27516

    View details for Web of Science ID 000218579000007

    View details for PubMedID 26824027

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4718054

  • Mitotic Modulation of Translation Elongation Factor 1 Leads to Hindered tRNA Delivery to Ribosomes JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY Sivan, G., Aviner, R., Elroy-Stein, O. 2011; 286 (32): 27927–35


    Translation elongation in eukaryotes is mediated by the concerted actions of elongation factor 1A (eEF1A), which delivers aminoacylated tRNA to the ribosome; elongation factor 1B (eEF1B) complex, which catalyzes the exchange of GDP to GTP on eEF1A; and eEF2, which facilitates ribosomal translocation. Here we present evidence in support of a novel mode of translation regulation by hindered tRNA delivery during mitosis. A conserved consensus phosphorylation site for the mitotic cyclin-dependent kinase 1 on the catalytic delta subunit of eEF1B (termed eEF1D) is required for its posttranslational modification during mitosis, resulting in lower affinity to its substrate eEF1A. This modification is correlated with reduced availability of eEF1A·tRNA complexes, as well as reduced delivery of tRNA to and association of eEF1A with elongating ribosomes. This mode of regulation by hindered tRNA delivery, although first discovered in mitosis, may represent a more globally applicable mechanism employed under other physiological conditions that involve down-regulation of protein synthesis at the elongation level.

    View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M111.255810

    View details for Web of Science ID 000293557800011

    View details for PubMedID 21665947

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3151038