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J Biol Chem. 2000 Jan 14;275(2):855-60.

Chaperone properties of bacterial elongation factor EF-G and initiation factor IF2.

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  • 1Biochimie Génétique, Institut Jacques Monod, Université Paris 7, 2 place Jussieu, 75005 Paris, France.


Elongation factor G(EF-G) and initiation factor 2 (IF2) are involved in the translocation of ribosomes on mRNA and in the binding of initiator tRNA to the 30 S ribosomal subunit, respectively. Here we report that the Escherichia coli EF-G and IF2 interact with unfolded and denatured proteins, as do molecular chaperones that are involved in protein folding and protein renaturation after stress. EF-G and IF2 promote the functional folding of citrate synthase and alpha-glucosidase after urea denaturation. They prevent the aggregation of citrate synthase under heat shock conditions, and they form stable complexes with unfolded proteins such as reduced carboxymethyl alpha-lactalbumin. Furthermore, the EF-G and IF2-dependent renaturations of citrate synthase are stimulated by GTP, and the GTPase activity of EF-G and IF2 is stimulated by the permanently unfolded protein, reduced carboxymethyl alpha-lactalbumin. The concentrations at which these chaperone-like functions occur are lower than the cellular concentrations of EF-G and IF2. These results suggest that EF-G and IF2, in addition to their role in translation, might be implicated in protein folding and protection from stress.

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