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Mol Microbiol. 2006 Jan;59(2):528-40.

The essential GTPase RbgA (YlqF) is required for 50S ribosome assembly in Bacillus subtilis.

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Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, 48824, USA.


In this paper the essential GTPase YlqF is shown to participate in the biogenesis of the 50S ribosomal subunit in Bacillus subtilis. Cells depleted of YlqF displayed gene expression profiles and nucleoid morphologies that were consistent with a function for YlqF in translation. In addition, YlqF is evolutionarily linked to two eukaryotic GTPases, Nog2p and Nug1p, that are involved in the biogenesis and the nuclear export of the 60S ribosomal subunit. Analysis of ribosomes from cells depleted of YlqF demonstrated that the formation of 70S ribosomes was greatly reduced and the large subunit sedimented at 45S. Cells grown with varying depleted levels of YlqF, yielding doubling times ranging from 38 min to 150 min, all displayed the 45S intermediate. Purified YlqF-His(6) protein associates with the 45S intermediate, but not the mature 50S subunit in vitro. Analysis of proteins from the 45S intermediate indicated that ribosomal protein L16, which is added late during in vitro Escherichia coli 50S ribosome biogenesis, was missing from the 45S intermediate. These results support a model in which YlqF participates in the formation of active 70S ribosomes in the cell by functioning in a late step of 50S subunit biogenesis. Based on these results we propose to rename the ylqF gene rbgA (ribosome biogenesis GTPase A).

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