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Cell. 2003 Jul 11;114(1):123-34.

Locking and unlocking of ribosomal motions.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Health Research Incororated at the Wadswoth Center, State University of New York, Albany, 12201, USA.


During the ribosomal translocation, the binding of elongation factor G (EF-G) to the pretranslocational ribosome leads to a ratchet-like rotation of the 30S subunit relative to the 50S subunit in the direction of the mRNA movement. By means of cryo-electron microscopy we observe that this rotation is accompanied by a 20 A movement of the L1 stalk of the 50S subunit, implying that this region is involved in the translocation of deacylated tRNAs from the P to the E site. These ribosomal motions can occur only when the P-site tRNA is deacylated. Prior to peptidyl-transfer to the A-site tRNA or peptide removal, the presence of the charged P-site tRNA locks the ribosome and prohibits both of these motions.

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