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J Mol Biol. 2004 Mar 12;337(1):15-30.

Interactions of translational factor EF-G with the bacterial ribosome before and after mRNA translocation.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2H7.


A conserved translation factor, known as EF-G in bacteria, promotes the translocation of tRNA and mRNA in the ribosome during protein synthesis. Here, EF-G.ribosome complexes in two intermediate states, before and after mRNA translocation, have been probed with hydroxyl radicals generated from free Fe(II)-EDTA. Before mRNA translocation and GTP hydrolysis, EF-G protected a limited set of nucleotides in both subunits of the ribosome from cleavage by hydroxyl radicals. In this state, an extensive set of nucleotides, in the platform and head domains of the 30S subunit and in the L7/L12 stalk region of the 50S subunit, became more exposed to hydroxyl radical attack, suggestive of conformational changes in these domains. Following mRNA translocation, EF-G protected a larger set of nucleotides (23S rRNA helices H43, H44, H89, and H95; 16S rRNA helices h5 and h15). No nucleotide with enhanced reactivity to hydroxyl radicals was detected in this latter state. Both before and after mRNA translocation, EF-G protected identical nucleotides in h5 and h15 of the 30S subunit. These results suggest that h5 and h15 may remain associated with EF-G during the dynamic course of the translocation mechanism. Nucleotides in H43 and H44 of the 50S subunit were protected only after translocation and GTP hydrolysis, suggesting that these helices interact dynamically with EF-G. The effects in H95 suggest that EF-G interacts weakly with H95 before mRNA translocation and strongly and more extensively with this helix following mRNA translocation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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