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Biochem Soc Trans. 2006 Feb;34(Pt 1):1-6.

The life and death of translation elongation factor 2.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1.


eEF2 (eukaryotic elongation factor 2) occupies an essential role in protein synthesis where it catalyses the translocation of the two tRNAs and the mRNA after peptidyl transfer on the 80 S ribosome. Recent crystal structures of eEF2 and the cryo-electron microscopy reconstruction of its 80 S complex now provide a substantial structural framework for dissecting the functional properties of this factor. The factor can be modified by either phosphorylation or ADP-ribosylation, which results in cessation of translation. We review the structural and functional properties of eEF2 with particular emphasis on the unique diphthamide residue, which is ADP-ribosylated by diphtheria toxin from Corynebacterium diphtheriae and exotoxin A from Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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