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FEBS Lett. 2005 Feb 7;579(4):959-62.

The role of tRNA as a molecular spring in decoding, accommodation, and peptidyl transfer.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Post Office Box 509, Albany, New York 12201-0509, USA.


Translation is the process by which the genetic information contained in mRNA is used to link amino acids in a predetermined sequential order into a polypeptide chain, which then folds into a protein. Transfer RNAs (tRNAs) are the adapter molecules designed to provide the "lookup" from codons to amino acids. Cryo-EM has provided evidence that the ribosome, as a molecular machine, undergoes many structural changes during translation. Recent findings show that the tRNA structure itself undergoes large conformational changes as well, and that the decoding process must be seen as a complex dynamic interplay between tRNA and the ribosome.

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