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J Mol Biol. 1996 May 10;258(3):420-32.

The dynamic structure of EF-G studied by fusidic acid resistance and internal revertants.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Uppsala University Biomedical Centre, Sweden.


We have previously identified 20 different fusidic acid-resistant alleles of fusA, encoding mutant forms of the ribosomal translocase EF-G. One of these, P413L, is used here as the starting point in selections for internal revertants, identifying 20 different pseudo-wild-type forms of EF-G. We have also identified two alleles of fusA previously isolated as suppressors of 4.5 S RNA deficiency. All of these mutants are analysed in terms of their effects on the structural dynamics of EF-G. Most mutation conferring fusidic acid-resistance interfere with conformational changes of EF-G, but some may be located at a possible fusidic acid binding site. Revertants of the P413L mutations restore the function of EF-G with or without affecting the level of resistance to fusidic acid. The revertant mutations probably restore the balance between the GDP and GTP conformations of EF-G off the ribosome, and most of them are located close to the interface between the G domain and domain II. The procedure for the isolation of pseudo-wild-type forms of EF-G can be used to direct evolution progressively away from the wild-type while still maintaining the essential functions of EF-G.

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