Research Article

Formation of the First Peptide Bond: The Structure of EF-P Bound to the 70S Ribosome

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Science  21 Aug 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5943, pp. 966-970
DOI: 10.1126/science.1175800

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Elongation factor P (EF-P) is an essential protein that stimulates the formation of the first peptide bond in protein synthesis. Here we report the crystal structure of EF-P bound to the Thermus thermophilus 70S ribosome along with the initiator transfer RNA N-formyl-methionyl-tRNAi (fMet-tRNAifMet) and a short piece of messenger RNA (mRNA) at a resolution of 3.5 angstroms. EF-P binds to a site located between the binding site for the peptidyl tRNA (P site) and the exiting tRNA (E site). It spans both ribosomal subunits with its amino-terminal domain positioned adjacent to the aminoacyl acceptor stem and its carboxyl-terminal domain positioned next to the anticodon stem-loop of the P site–bound initiator tRNA. Domain II of EF-P interacts with the ribosomal protein L1, which results in the largest movement of the L1 stalk that has been observed in the absence of ratcheting of the ribosomal subunits. EF-P facilitates the proper positioning of the fMet-tRNAifMet for the formation of the first peptide bond during translation initiation.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

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