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J Mol Biol. 2006 Jan 27;355(4):747-59. Epub 2005 Nov 17.

New insights into the interaction of ribosomal protein L1 with RNA.

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Institute of Protein Research, Russian Academy of Sciences, 142290 Pushchino, Moscow region, Russian Federation.


The RNA-binding ability of ribosomal protein L1 is of profound interest, since L1 has a dual function as a ribosomal structural protein that binds rRNA and as a translational repressor that binds its own mRNA. Here, we report the crystal structure at 2.6 A resolution of ribosomal protein L1 from the bacterium Thermus thermophilus in complex with a 38 nt fragment of L1 mRNA from Methanoccocus vannielii. The conformation of RNA-bound T.thermophilus L1 differs dramatically from that of the isolated protein. Analysis of four copies of the L1-mRNA complex in the crystal has shown that domain II of the protein does not contribute to mRNA-specific binding. A detailed comparison of the protein-RNA interactions in the L1-mRNA and L1-rRNA complexes identified amino acid residues of L1 crucial for recognition of its specific targets on the both RNAs. Incorporation of the structure of bacterial L1 into a model of the Escherichia coli ribosome revealed two additional contact regions for L1 on the 23S rRNA that were not identified in previous ribosome models.

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