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J Mol Biol. 2004 Mar 5;336(5):1011-21.

Interaction of helix D of elongation factor Tu with helices 4 and 5 of protein L7/12 on the ribosome.

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Institute of Physical Biochemistry, University of Witten/Herdecke, 58448 Witten, Germany.


Elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu) promotes binding of aminoacyl-tRNA to the A site of the ribosome. Here, we report the effects of mutations in helix D of EF-Tu and in the C-terminal domain of L7/12 on the kinetics of A-site binding. Reaction rates were measured by stopped-flow and quench-flow techniques. The rates of A-site binding were decreased by mutations at positions 144, 145, 148, and 152 in helix D of EF-Tu as well as at positions 65, 66, 69, 70, 73, and 84 in helices 4 and 5 of L7/12. The effect was due primarily to the lower association rate constant of ternary complex binding to the ribosome. These results suggest that helix D of EF-Tu is involved in an initial transient contact with helices 4 and 5 of L7/12 that promotes ternary complex binding to the ribosome. By analogy to the interaction of helix D of EF-Tu with the N-terminal domain of EF-Ts, the contact area is likely to consist of a hydrophobic patch flanked by two salt-bridges.

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