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Cell. 2007 Jun 1;129(5):929-41.

RF3 induces ribosomal conformational changes responsible for dissociation of class I release factors.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Health Research, Inc. at the Wadsworth Center, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12201-0509, USA.


During translation termination, class II release factor RF3 binds to the ribosome to promote rapid dissociation of a class I release factor (RF) in a GTP-dependent manner. We present the crystal structure of E. coli RF3*GDP, which has a three-domain architecture strikingly similar to the structure of EF-Tu*GTP. Biochemical data on RF3 mutants show that a surface region involving domains II and III is important for distinct steps in the action cycle of RF3. Furthermore, we present a cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structure of the posttermination ribosome bound with RF3 in the GTP form. Our data show that RF3*GTP binding induces large conformational changes in the ribosome, which break the interactions of the class I RF with both the decoding center and the GTPase-associated center of the ribosome, apparently leading to the release of the class I RF.

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