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Biol Chem. 1998 Jul;379(7):753-72.

Models of the elongation cycle: an evaluation.

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Max-Planck-Institut für Molekulare Genetik, AG Ribosomen, Berlin, Germany.


The central process for the transfer of the genetic information from the nucleic acid world into the structure of proteins is the ribosomal elongation cycle, where the sequence of codons is translated into the sequence of amino acids. The nascent polypeptide chain is elongated by one amino acid during the reactions of one cycle. Essentially, three models for the elongation cycle have been proposed. The allosteric three-site model and the hybrid-site model describe different aspects of tRNA binding and do not necessarily contradict each other. However, the alpha-epsilon model is not compatible with both models. The three models are evaluated in the light of recent results on the tRNA localization within the ribosome: the tRNAs of the elongating ribosome could be localized by two different techniques, viz. an advanced method of small-angle neutron scattering and cryo-electron microscopy. The best fit with the biochemical and structural data is obtained with the alpha-epsilon model.

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