Atomic mutagenesis of the ribosomal Sarcin-Ricin-Loop to study EF-G GTPase activation

Koch, Miriam (2 September 2014). Atomic mutagenesis of the ribosomal Sarcin-Ricin-Loop to study EF-G GTPase activation (Unpublished). In: Fourteenth conference on Translational Control. Cold Spring Harbour, USA. 02.09.-06.09.2014.

Translocation factor EF-G, possesses a low basal GTPase activity, which is stimulated by the ribosome. One potential region of the ribosome that triggers GTPase activity of EF-G is the Sarcin-Ricin-Loop (SRL) (helix 95) in domain VI of the 23S rRNA. Structural data showed that the tip of the SRL closely approaches GTP in the active center of EF-G, structural probing data confirmed that EF-G interacts with nucleotides G2655, A2660, G2661 and A2662.1-3 The exocyclic group of adenine at A2660 is required for stimulation of EF-G GTPase activity by the ribosome as demonstrated using atomic mutagenesis.4 Recent crystal structures of EF-G on the ribosome, gave more insights into the molecular mechanism of EF-G GTPase activity.5 Based on the structure of EF-Tu on the ribosome1, the following mechanism of GTPase activation was proposed: upon binding of EF-G to the ribosome, the conserved His92 (E.coli) changes its position, pointing to the γ-phosphate of GTP. In this activated state, the phosphate of residue A2662 of the SRL positions the catalytic His in its active conformation. It was further proposed that the phosphate oxygen of A2662 is involved in a charge-relay system, enabling GTP hydrolysis. In order to test this mechanism, we use the atomic mutagenesis approach, which allows introducing non-natural modifications in the SRL, in the context of the complete 70S ribosome. Therefore, we replaced one of the non-bridging oxygens of A2662 by a methyl group. A methylphosphonat is not able to position or activate a histidine, as it has no free electrons and therefore no proton acceptor function. These modified ribosomes were then tested for stimulation of EF-G GTPase activity. First experiments show that one of the two stereoisomers incorporated into ribosomes does not stimulate GTPase activity of EF-G, whereas the other is active. From this we conclude that indeed the non-bridging phosphate oxygen of A2662 is involved in EF-G GTPase activation by the ribosome. Ongoing experiments aim at revealing the contribution of this non-bridging oxygen at A2662 to the mechanism of EF-G GTPase activation at the atomic level.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences (DCBP)

UniBE Contributor:

Koch, Miriam


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry




Christina Schüpbach

Date Deposited:

12 Jan 2015 16:58

Last Modified:

12 Jan 2015 16:58


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