Translocation in Action

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Science  28 Jun 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6140, pp. 1534-1535
DOI: 10.1126/science.1240090

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Ribosomes are macromolecular factories that translate the information encoded in messenger RNA (mRNA) into the amino acid sequence of proteins. Each time an amino acid has been transferred to the growing peptide chain, the mRNA and two transfer RNAs (tRNAs) move through the ribosome one codon at a time. This movement—called translocation—is promoted by elongation factor G (EF-G). Three papers in this issue, by Tourigny et al. (1), Pulk and Cate (2), and Zhou et al. (3), present high-resolution structures of translocation intermediates and provide insights into the underlying mechanism.