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The ribosome translates the genetic information encoded in messenger RNA into protein. Folded structures in the coding region of an mRNA represent a kinetic barrier that lowers the peptide elongation rate, as the ribosome must disrupt structures it encounters in the mRNA at its entry site to allow translocation to the next codon. Such structures are(More)
We have followed individual ribosomes as they translate single messenger RNA hairpins tethered by the ends to optical tweezers. Here we reveal that translation occurs through successive translocation--and-pause cycles. The distribution of pause lengths, with a median of 2.8 s, indicates that at least two rate-determining processes control each pause. Each(More)
We report the crystal structure of a translation termination complex formed by the Thermus thermophilus 70S ribosome bound with release factor RF2, in response to a UAA stop codon, solved at 3 A resolution. The backbone of helix alpha5 and the side chain of serine of the conserved SPF motif of RF2 recognize U1 and A2 of the stop codon, respectively. A3 is(More)
During protein synthesis, coupled translocation of messenger RNAs (mRNA) and transfer RNAs (tRNA) through the ribosome takes place following formation of each peptide bond. The reaction is facilitated by large-scale conformational changes within the ribosomal complex and catalyzed by elongtion factor G (EF-G). Previous structural analysis of the interaction(More)
Coupled translocation of messenger RNA and transfer RNA (tRNA) through the ribosome, a process catalyzed by elongation factor EF-G, is a crucial step in protein synthesis. The crystal structure of a bacterial translocation complex describes the binding states of two tRNAs trapped in mid-translocation. The deacylated P-site tRNA has moved into a partly(More)
Ribosome recycling factor (RRF) disassembles posttermination complexes in conjunction with elongation factor EF-G, liberating ribosomes for further rounds of translation. The striking resemblance of its L-shaped structure to that of tRNA has suggested that the mode of action of RRF may be based on mimicry of tRNA. Directed hydroxyl radical probing of 16S(More)
Three consecutive G-C pairs in the anticodon stem are a key discriminatory feature of initiator tRNA and are required for its selection by IF3. Here, we have mutated two 16S rRNA nucleotides, G1338 and A1339, which provide the sole contact to the G-C pairs of tRNA(fMet) bound to the ribosomal P site. We have tested their effects on translational activities(More)
Translocation of messenger and transfer RNA (mRNA and tRNA) through the ribosome is a crucial step in protein synthesis, whose mechanism is not yet understood. The crystal structures of three Thermus ribosome-tRNA-mRNA-EF-G complexes trapped with β,γ-imidoguanosine 5'-triphosphate (GDPNP) or fusidic acid reveal conformational changes occurring during(More)
The class II release factor RF3 is a GTPase related to elongation factor EF-G, which catalyzes release of class I release factors RF1 and RF2 from the ribosome after termination of protein synthesis. The 3.3 Å crystal structure of the RF3·GDPNP·ribosome complex provides a high-resolution description of interactions and structural rearrangements that occur(More)
Peptidyl transferase activity of Thermus aquaticus ribosomes is resistant to the removal of a significant number of ribosomal proteins by protease digestion, SDS, and phenol extraction. To define the upper limit for the number of macromolecular components required for peptidyl transferase, particles obtained by extraction of T. aquaticus large ribosomal(More)