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J Mol Biol. 1988 Mar 20;200(2):301-8.

Interaction of ribosomal proteins, S6, S8, S15 and S18 with the central domain of 16 S ribosomal RNA.

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Thimann Laboratories, University of California, Santa Cruz 95064.


We have constructed complexes of ribosomal proteins S8, S15, S8 + S15 and S8 + S15 + S6 + S18 with 16 S ribosomal RNA, and probed the RNA moiety with a set of structure-specific chemical and enzymatic probes. Our results show the following effects of assembly of proteins on the reactivity of specific nucleotides in 16 S rRNA. (1) In agreement with earlier work, S8 protects nucleotides in and around the 588-606/632-651 stem from attack by chemical probes; this is supported by protection in and around these same regions from nucleases. In addition, we observe protection of positions 573-575, 583, 812, 858-861 and 865. Several S8-dependent enhancements of reactivity are found, indicating that assembly of this protein is accompanied by conformational changes in 16 S rRNA. These results imply that protein S8 influences a much larger region of the central domain than was previously suspected. (2) Protein S15 protects nucleotides in the 655-672/734-751 stem, in agreement with previous findings. We also find S15-dependent protection of nucleotides in the 724-730 region. Assembly of S15 causes several enhancements of reactivity, the most striking of which are found at G664, A665, G674, and A718. (3) The effects of proteins S6 and S18 are dependent on the simultaneous presence of both proteins, and on the presence of protein S15. S6 + S18-dependent protections are located in the 673-730 and 777-803 regions. We observed some variability in our results with these proteins, depending on the ratio of protein to RNA used, and in different trials using enzymatic probes, possibly due to the limited solubility of protein S18. Consistently reproducible was protection of nucleotides in the 664-676 and 715-729 regions. Among the latter are three of the nucleotides (G664, G674 and A718) that are strongly enhanced by assembly of protein S15. This result suggests that an S15-induced conformational change involving these nucleotides may play a role in the co-operative assembly of proteins S6 and S18.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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