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EMBO J. 1982;1(5):609-13.

Minimal set of ribosomal components for reconstitution of the peptidyltransferase activity.


A new approach is described to gain further information concerning the ribosomal components involved in the peptidyltransferase (PTF) activity exerted by Escherichia coli 50S subunits. A particle is reconstituted from highly purified proteins and RNA under modified incubation conditions. This particle contains only 16 out of the 34 distinct components constituting the native subunit, and yet still exhibits significant PTF activity. Single omission tests at the level of this "minimal ribosomal particle" indicate the limits set on a further reduction of the components, and in particular reveal that protein L18 can be excluded from the set of proteins which are essential for PTF activity, thus leaving L2, L3, L4, L15, and L16 as primary candidates for this function. 5S RNA is not needed for PTF activity of the "minimal ribosomal particle". Furthermore, a buffer condition is described which drastically improves the stability of total protein preparations and facilitates the isolation of individual proteins.

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