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Trends Biochem Sci. 2003 Aug;28(8):434-41.

Elongation factors in protein biosynthesis.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, University of Aarhus, Gustav Wieds Vej 10C, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.


Translation elongation factors are the workhorses of protein synthesis on the ribosome. They assist in elongating the nascent polypeptide chain by one amino acid at a time. The general biochemical outline of the translation elongation cycle is well preserved in all biological kingdoms. Recently, there has been structural insight into the effects of antibiotics on elongation. These structures provide a scaffold for understanding the biological function of elongation factors before high-resolution structures of such factors in complex with ribosomes are obtained. Very recent structures of the yeast translocation factor and its complex with the antifungal drug sordarin reveal an unexpected conformational flexibility that might be crucial to the mechanism of translocation.

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