Role of ribosomal protein L27 in peptidyl transfer.
ABSTRACT The current view of ribosomal peptidyl transfer is that the ribosome is a ribozyme and that ribosomal proteins are not involved in catalysis of the chemical reaction. This view is largely based on the first crystal structures of bacterial large ribosomal subunits that did not show any protein components near the peptidyl transferase center (PTC). Recent crystallographic data on the full 70S ribosome from Thermus thermophilus, however, show that ribosomal protein L27 extends with its N-terminus into the PTC in accordance with independent biochemical data, thus raising the question of whether the ribozyme picture is strictly valid. We have carried out extensive computer simulations of the peptidyl transfer reaction in the T. thermophilus ribosome to address the role of L27. The results show a reaction rate similar to that obtained in earlier simulations of the Haloarcula marismortui reaction. Furthermore, deletion of L27 is predicted to only give a minor rate reduction, in agreement with biochemical data, suggesting that the ribozyme view is indeed valid. The N-terminus of L27 is predicted to interact with the A76 phosphate group of the A-site tRNA, thereby explaining the observed impairment of A-site substrate binding for ribosomes lacking L27. Simulations are also reported for the reaction with puromycin, an A-site tRNA analogue which lacks the A76 phosphate group. The calculated energetics shows that this substrate can cause a downward p K a shift of L27 and that the reaction proceeds faster with the L27 N-terminus deprotonated, in contrast to the situation with aminoacyl-tRNA substrates. These results could explain the observed differences in pH dependence between the puromycin and C-puromycin reactions, where the former reaction has been seen to depend on an additional ionizing group besides the attacking amine, and our model predicts this ionizing group to be the N-terminal amine of L27.
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ABSTRACT: The in vitro proliferation of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells is remarkably hampered in the presence of heavy water (D2O). Impairment of gene expression at the transcription or translation level can be the base for this effect. However, insights into the underlying mechanisms are lacking. Here, we employ a cell-free expression system for the quantitative analysis of the effect of increasing percentages of D2O on the kinetics of in-vitro GFP expression. Experiments are designed to discriminate the rates of transcription, translation, and protein folding using pDNA and mRNA vectors, respectively. We find that D2O significantly stimulates GFP expression at the transcription level but acts as a suppressor at translation and maturation (folding) in a linear dose-dependent manner. At a D2O concentration of 60%, the GFP expression rate was reduced to 40% of an undisturbed sample. We observed a similar inhibition of GFP expression by D2O in a recombinant Escherichia coli strain, although the inhibitory effect is less pronounced. These results demonstrate the suitability of cell-free systems for quantifying the impact of heavy water on gene expression and establish a platform to further assess the potential therapeutic use of heavy water as antiproliferative agent.BioMed research international. 01/2013; 2013:592745.
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ABSTRACT: During peptide-bond formation on the ribosome, the α-amine of an aminoacyl-tRNA attacks the ester carbonyl carbon of a peptidyl-tRNA to yield a peptide lengthened by one amino acid. Although the ribosome's contribution to catalysis is predominantly entropic, the lack of high-resolution structural data for the complete active site in complex with full-length ligands has made it difficult to assess how the ribosome might influence the pathway of the reaction. Here, we present crystal structures of preattack and postcatalysis complexes of the Thermus thermophilus 70S ribosome at ~2.6-Å resolution. These structures reveal a network of hydrogen bonds along which proton transfer could take place to ensure the concerted, rate-limiting formation of a tetrahedral intermediate. We propose that, unlike earlier models, the ribosome and the A-site tRNA facilitate the deprotonation of the nucleophile through the activation of a water molecule.Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 08/2014; · 11.90 Impact Factor