Dynamic Landscapes of tRNA Transcriptomes and Translatomes in Diverse Mouse Tissues

Peng Yu, Siting Zhou, Yan Gao, Yu Liang, Wenbing Guo, Dan Ohtan Wang, Shuaiwen Ding, Shuibin Lin, Jinkai Wang, Yixian Cun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although the function of tRNAs in the translational process is well established, it remains controversial whether tRNA abundance is tightly associated with translational efficiency (TE) in mammals. Moreover, how critically the expression of tRNAs contributes to the establishment of tissue-specific proteomes in mammals has not been well addressed. Here, we measured both tRNA expression using demethylase-tRNA sequencing (DM-tRNA-seq) and TE of mRNAs using ribosome-tagging sequencing (RiboTag-seq) in the brain, heart, and testis of mice. Remarkable variation in the expression of tRNA isodecoders was observed among different tissues. When the statistical effect of isodecoder-grouping on reducing variations is considered through permutating the anticodons, we observed an expected reduction in the variation of anticodon expression across all samples, an unexpected smaller variation of anticodon usage bias, and an unexpected larger variation of tRNA isotype expression at amino acid level. Regardless of whether or not they share the same anticodons, the isodecoders encoding the same amino acids are co-expressed across different tissues. Based on the expression of tRNAs and the TE of mRNAs, we find that the tRNA adaptation index (tAI) and TE are significantly correlated in the same tissues but not between tissues; and tRNA expression and the amino acid composition of translating peptides are positively correlated in the same tissues but not between tissues. We therefore hypothesize that the tissue-specific expression of tRNAs might be due to post-transcriptional mechanisms. This study provides a resource for tRNA and translation studies, as well as novel insights into the dynamics of tRNAs and their roles in translational regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)834-849
Number of pages16
JournalGenomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • Amino acid composition
  • Codon usage bias
  • Tissue-specific
  • Translational efficiency
  • tRNA expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Computational Mathematics


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