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J Mol Biol. 2002 May 31;319(2):329-39.

Limitation of ribosomal protein L11 availability in vivo affects translation termination.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics, Box 11, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030-4009, USA.


Historically referred to as "the GTPase center", the L11 binding region (L11BR) of Escherichia coli 23 S rRNA is a highly conserved structure that has been implicated in several essential functions during protein synthesis. Here, in vivo expression of an RNA fragment containing that structure was found to affect translation termination in a codon-specific manner. The cause of these effects appeared to be titration of ribosomal protein L11, since normal phenotypes could be restored by simultaneous overproduction of wild-type L11 but not mutant L11. Subsequently, altered termination phenotypes were produced when the availability of L11 was limited by overexpression of RNA antisense to L11 mRNA and, finally, by inactivation of the chromosomal L11 gene, and they too were reversible by simultaneous expression of cloned L11. Our results indicate that in the intact cell the L11BR is an integral functional unit important for translation termination and that the presence of L11 in ribosomes is required for UAG-dependent termination and is somewhat inhibitory of UGA-dependent termination.

Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd.

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