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Biotechnol J. 2008 Aug;3(8):999-1009. doi: 10.1002/biot.200800098.

Role of the ribosome in protein folding.

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Department of Biophysics, Molecular Biology and Genetics, University College of Science, Kolkata, India.


In all organisms, the ribosome synthesizes and folds full length polypeptide chains into active three-dimensional conformations. The nascent protein goes through two major interactions, first with the ribosome which synthesizes the polypeptide chain and holds it for a considerable length of time, and then with the chaperones. Some of the chaperones are found in solution as well as associated to the ribosome. A number of in vitro and in vivo experiments revealed that the nascent protein folds through specific interactions of some amino acids with the nucleotides in the peptidyl transferase center (PTC) in the large ribosomal subunit. The mechanism of this folding differs from self-folding. In this article, we highlight the folding of nascent proteins on the ribosome and the influence of chaperones etc. on protein folding.

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