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J Mol Biol. 2000 Dec 8;304(4):507-15.

Movement of the decoding region of the 16 S ribosomal RNA accompanies tRNA translocation.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294-0005, USA.


The ribosome undergoes pronounced periodic conformational changes during protein synthesis. Of particular importance are those occurring around the decoding site, the region of the 16 S rRNA interacting with the mRNA-(tRNA)(2) complex. We have incorporated structural information from X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance into cryo-electron microscopic maps of ribosomal complexes designed to capture structural changes at the translocation step of the polypeptide elongation cycle. The A-site region of the decoding site actively participates in the translocation of the tRNA from the A to the P-site upon GTP hydrolysis by elongation factor G, shifting approximately 8 A toward the P-site. This implies that elongation factor G actively pushes both the decoding site and the mRNA/tRNA complex during translocation.

Copyright 2000 Academic Press.

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