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Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2009 Jun;16(6):589-97. doi: 10.1038/nsmb.1614.

The ribosome as a platform for co-translational processing, folding and targeting of newly synthesized proteins.

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Zentrum für Molekulare Biologie der Universität Heidelberg, DKFZ-ZMBH Allianz, Heidelberg, Germany.


The early events in the life of newly synthesized proteins in the cellular environment are remarkably complex. Concurrently with their synthesis by the ribosome, nascent polypeptides are subjected to enzymatic processing, chaperone-assisted folding or targeting to translocation pores at membranes. The ribosome itself has a key role in these different tasks and governs the interplay between the various factors involved. Indeed, the ribosome serves as a platform for the spatially and temporally regulated association of enzymes, targeting factors and chaperones that act upon the nascent polypeptides emerging from the exit tunnel. Furthermore, the ribosome provides opportunities to coordinate the protein-synthesis activity of its peptidyl transferase center with the protein targeting and folding processes. Here we review the early co-translational events involving the ribosome that guide cytosolic proteins to their native state.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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