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Catalysis of Ribosomal Translocation by Sparsomycin

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Science  16 May 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5622, pp. 1159-1162
DOI: 10.1126/science.1084571

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Abstract

During protein synthesis, transfer RNAs (tRNAs) are translocated from the aminoacyl to peptidyl to exit sites of the ribosome, coupled to the movement of messenger RNA (mRNA), in a reaction catalyzed by elongation factor G (EF-G) and guanosine triphosphate (GTP). Here, we show that the peptidyl transferase inhibitor sparsomycin triggers accurate translocation in vitro in the absence of EF-G and GTP. Our results provide evidence that translocation is a function inherent to the ribosome and that the energy to drive this process is stored in the tRNA-mRNA-ribosome complex after peptide-bond formation. These findings directly implicate the peptidyl transferase center of the 50S subunit in the mechanism of translocation, a process involving large-scale movement of tRNA and mRNA in the 30S subunit, some 70 angstroms away.

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