BIOCHEMISTRY: A Toehold on the Ribosome

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Science  07 Jan 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5450, pp. 13e
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5450.13e

Recent descriptions of ribosome structure at 5- to 7.8-angstrom resolution have offered a wealth of information and have revealed how much more remains to be elucidated. Spahn et al. take a step forward by developing a method to insert an entire transfer RNA (tRNA) sequence at defined sites in the bacterial gene encoding the large 23S ribosomal RNA (rRNA). Whole 70S ribosomes containing this modified RNA visualized by cryo-electron microscopy revealed a peripheral, L-shaped foot corresponding to the known structure of tRNA. Two stem-loop regions of the 23S rRNA were precisely localized within the overall ribosome, and they also provide landmarks for interpreting the structure of the eukaryotic 80S ribosome.—GJC

Structure 7, 1567 (1999).

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