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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2007 Jun;17(3):302-9. Epub 2007 Jun 15.

Insights into protein biosynthesis from structures of bacterial ribosomes.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.


Understanding the structural basis of protein biosynthesis on the ribosome remains a challenging problem for cryo-electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography. Recent high-resolution structures of the Escherichia coli 70S ribosome without ligands, and of the Thermus thermophilus and E. coli 70S ribosomes with bound mRNA and tRNAs, reveal many new features of ribosome dynamics and ribosome-ligand interactions. In addition, the first high-resolution structures of the L7/L12 stalk of the ribosome, responsible for translation factor binding and GTPase activation, reveal the structural basis of the high degree of flexibility in this region of the ribosome. These structures provide groundbreaking insights into the mechanism of protein synthesis at the level of ribosome architecture, ligand binding and ribosome dynamics.

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