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Following movement of domain IV of elongation factor G during ribosomal translocation

Salsi, Enea, Farah, Elie, Dann, Jillian, Ermolenko, Dmitri N.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2014 v.111 no.42 pp. 15060-15065
binding proteins, messenger RNA, protein synthesis, ribosomes, transfer RNA
Translocation of mRNA and tRNAs through the ribosome is catalyzed by a universally conserved elongation factor (EF-G in prokaryotes and EF-2 in eukaryotes). Previous studies have suggested that ribosome-bound EF-G undergoes significant structural rearrangements. Here, we follow the movement of domain IV of EF-G, which is critical for the catalysis of translocation, relative to protein S12 of the small ribosomal subunit using single-molecule FRET. We show that ribosome-bound EF-G adopts distinct conformations corresponding to the pre- and posttranslocation states of the ribosome. Our results suggest that, upon ribosomal translocation, domain IV of EF-G moves toward the A site of the small ribosomal subunit and facilitates the movement of peptidyl-tRNA from the A to the P site. We found no evidence of direct coupling between the observed movement of domain IV of EF-G and GTP hydrolysis. In addition, our results suggest that the pretranslocation conformation of the EF-G–ribosome complex is significantly less stable than the posttranslocation conformation. Hence, the structural rearrangement of EF-G makes a considerable energetic contribution to promoting tRNA translocation.