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EMBO J. 1994 Aug 15;13(16):3661-8.

The crystal structure of elongation factor G complexed with GDP, at 2.7 A resolution.

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Department of Chemistry, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520.


Elongation factor G (EF-G) catalyzes the translocation step of protein synthesis in bacteria, and like the other bacterial elongation factor, EF-Tu--whose structure is already known--it is a member of the GTPase superfamily. We have determined the crystal structure of EF-G--GDP from Thermus thermophilus. It is an elongated molecule whose large, N-terminal domain resembles the G domain of EF-Tu, except for a 90 residue insert, which covers a surface that is involved in nucleotide exchange in EF-Tu and other G proteins. The tertiary structures of the second domains of EF-G and EF-Tu are nearly identical, but the relative placement of the first two domains in EF-G--GDP resembles that seen in EF-Tu--GTP, not EF-Tu--GDP. The remaining three domains of EF-G look like RNA binding domains, and have no counterparts in EF-Tu.

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