Gemma C. Atkinson

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Lys34 of the conserved translation elongation factor P (EF-P) is post-translationally lysinylated by YjeK and YjeA--a modification that is critical for bacterial virulence. Here we show that the currently accepted Escherichia coli EF-P modification pathway is incomplete and lacks a final hydroxylation step mediated by YfcM, an enzyme distinct from(More)
RelA/SpoT Homologue (RSH) proteins, named for their sequence similarity to the RelA and SpoT enzymes of Escherichia coli, comprise a superfamily of enzymes that synthesize and/or hydrolyze the alarmone ppGpp, activator of the "stringent" response and regulator of cellular metabolism. The classical "long" RSHs Rel, RelA and SpoT with the ppGpp hydrolase,(More)
Ribosomes are the protein synthesizing factories of the cell, polymerizing polypeptide chains from their constituent amino acids. However, distinct combinations of amino acids, such as polyproline stretches, cannot be efficiently polymerized by ribosomes, leading to translational stalling. The stalled ribosomes are rescued by the translational elongation(More)
The alarmones guanosine tetraphosphate and guanosine pentaphosphate (collectively referred to as (p)ppGpp) are involved in regulating growth and several different stress responses in bacteria. In recent years, substantial progress has been made in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of (p)ppGpp metabolism and (p)ppGpp-mediated regulation. In this(More)
Protein synthesis elongation factor G (EF-G) is an essential protein with central roles in both the elongation and ribosome recycling phases of protein synthesis. Although EF-G evolution is predicted to be conservative, recent reports suggest otherwise. We have characterized EF-G in terms of its molecular phylogeny, genomic context, and patterns of amino(More)
Members of the eukaryote/archaea specific eRF1 and eRF3 protein families have central roles in translation termination. They are also central to various mRNA surveillance mechanisms, together with the eRF1 paralogue Dom34p and the eRF3 paralogues Hbs1p and Ski7p. We have examined the evolution of eRF1 and eRF3 families using sequence similarity searching,(More)
Tetracycline resistance protein Tet(O), which protects the bacterial ribosome from binding the antibiotic tetracycline, is a translational GTPase with significant similarity in both sequence and structure to the elongation factor EF-G. Here, we present an atomic model of the Tet(O)-bound 70S ribosome based on our cryo-electron microscopic reconstruction at(More)
SelB is the dedicated elongation factor for delivery of selenocysteinyl-tRNA to the ribosome. In archaea, only a subset of methanogens utilizes selenocysteine and encodes archaeal SelB (aSelB). A SelB-like (aSelBL) homolog has previously been identified in an archaeon that does not encode selenosysteine, and has been proposed to be a(More)
The polymerization of amino acids into proteins occurs on ribosomes, with the rate influenced by the amino acids being polymerized. The imino acid proline is a poor donor and acceptor for peptide-bond formation, such that translational stalling occurs when three or more consecutive prolines (PPP) are encountered by the ribosome. In bacteria, stalling at PPP(More)
Translation termination in eukaryotes is governed by the concerted action of eRF1 and eRF3 factors. eRF1 recognizes the stop codon in the A site of the ribosome and promotes nascent peptide chain release, and the GTPase eRF3 facilitates this peptide release via its interaction with eRF1. In addition to its role in termination, eRF3 is involved in normal and(More)