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Nature. 1996 May 16;381(6579):248-51.

Regulation by the ribosome of the GTPase of the signal-recognition particle during protein targeting.

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Zentrum für Molekalare Biologie der Universität Heidelberg, Germany.


The signal-recognition particle (SRP) is important for the targeting of many secretory and membrane proteins to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Targeting is regulated by three GTPases, the 54K subunit of SRP (SRP54), and the alpha- and beta-subunits of the SRP receptor. When a signal sequence emerges from the ribosome, SRP interacts with it and targets the resulting complex to the ER membrane by binding to the SRP receptor. Subsequently, SRP releases the signal sequence into the translocation channel. Here we use a complex of a ribosome with a nascent peptide chain, the SRP and its receptor, to investigate GTP binding to SRP54, and GTP hydrolysis. Our findings indicate that a ribosomal component promotes GTP binding to the SRP54 subunit of SRP. GTP-bound SRP54 is essential for high-affinity interaction between SRP and its receptor in the ER membrane. This interaction induces the release of the signal sequence from SRP, the insertion of the nascent polypeptide chain into the translocation channel, and GTP hydrolysis. The contribution of the ribosome had previously escaped detection because only synthetic signal peptides were used in the analysis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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