National Center for
2XQD: The Structure Of Ef-Tu And Aminoacyl-Trna Bound To The 70s Ribosome With A Gtp Analog
Science (2010) 330 p.835-838
Protein synthesis requires several guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) factors, including elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu), which delivers aminoacyl-transfer RNAs (tRNAs) to the ribosome. To understand how the ribosome triggers GTP hydrolysis in translational GTPases, we have determined the crystal structure of EF-Tu and aminoacyl-tRNA bound to the ribosome with a GTP analog, to 3.2 angstrom resolution. EF-Tu is in its active conformation, the switch I loop is ordered, and the catalytic histidine is coordinating the nucleophilic water in position for inline attack on the gamma-phosphate of GTP. This activated conformation is due to a critical and conserved interaction of the histidine with A2662 of the sarcin-ricin loop of the 23S ribosomal RNA. The structure suggests a universal mechanism for GTPase activation and hydrolysis in translational GTPases on the ribosome.