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J Mol Biol. 2000 Jun 9;299(3):615-28.

Initiation factor 3-induced structural changes in the 30 S ribosomal subunit and in complexes containing tRNA(f)(Met) and mRNA.

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Department of Biochemistry, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, Box 7622, USA.


Initiation factor 3 (IF3) acts to switch the decoding preference of the small ribosomal subunit from elongator to initiator tRNA. The effects of IF3 on the 30 S ribosomal subunit and on the 30 S.mRNA. tRNA(f)(Met) complex were determined by UV-induced RNA crosslinking. Three intramolecular crosslinks in the 16 S rRNA (of the 14 that were monitored by gel electrophoresis) are affected by IF3. These are the crosslinks between C1402 and C1501 within the decoding region, between C967xC1400 joining the end loop of a helix of 16 S rRNA domain III and the decoding region, and between U793 and G1517 joining the 790 end loop of 16 S rRNA domain II and the end loop of the terminal helix. These changes occur even in the 30 S.IF3 complex, indicating they are not mediated through tRNA(f)(Met) or mRNA. UV-induced crosslinks occur between 16 S rRNA position C1400 and tRNA(f)(Met) position U34, in tRNA(f)(Met) the nucleotide adjacent to the 5' anticodon nucleotide, and between 16 S rRNA position C1397 and the mRNA at positions +9 and +10 (where A of the initiator AUG codon is +1). The presence of IF3 reduces both of these crosslinks by twofold and fourfold, respectively. The binding site for IF3 involves the 790 region, some other parts of the 16 S rRNA domain II and the terminal stem/loop region. These are located in the front bottom part of the platform structure in the 30 S subunit, a short distance from the decoding region. The changes that occur in the decoding region, even in the absence of mRNA and tRNA, may be induced by IF3 from a short distance or could be caused by the second IF3 structural domain.

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