Interaction of RRF and EF-G from E. coli and T. thermophilus with ribosomes from both origins — insight into the mechanism of the ribosome recycling step

Document Type


Publication Date

March 2005


This article has been peer-reviewed. It was published in RNA 11(3):275-284, March 2005, and is freely available from the publisher's website at http://dx.doi.org/10.1261/rna.7201805. Copyright © 2005 by The RNA Society.


Ribosome recycling factor (RRF), elongation factor-G (EF-G), and ribosomes from Thermus thermophilus (tt-) and Escherichia coli (ec-) were used to study the disassembly mechanism of post-termination ribosomal complexes by these factors. With tt-RRF, ec-EF-G can release bound-tRNA from ec-model post-termination complexes. However, tt-RRF is not released by ec-EF-G from ec-ribosomes. This complex with tt-RRF and ec-ribosomes after the tRNA release by ec-EF-G is regarded as an intermediate of the disassembly reaction. Not only tt-RRF, but also mRNA, cannot be released from ec-ribosomes by tt-RRF and ec-EF-G. These data suggest that the release of RRF from ribosomes is coupled or closely related to the release of mRNA during disassembly of post-termination complexes. With tt-ribosomes, ec-EF-G cannot release ribosome-bound ec-RRF even though they are from the same species, showing that proper interaction of ec-RRF and ec-EF-G does not occur on tt-ribosomes. On the other hand, in contrast to a published report, tt-EF-G functions with ec-RRF to disassemble ec-post-termination complexes. In support of this finding, tt-EF-G translocates peptidyl tRNA on ec-ribosomes and catalyzes ec-ribosome-dependent GTPase, showing that tt-EF-G has in vitro translocation activity with ec-ribosomes. Since tt-EF-G with ec-RRF can release tRNA from ec-post-termination complexes, the data are consistent with the hypothesis that the release of tRNA by RRF and EF-G from post-termination complexes is a result of a translocation-like activity of EF-G on RRF.

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