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This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in: Nucleic acids research.

Volume 36, Issue 21, December 2008, Pages 6676-6687.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkn647. Copyright © Oxford Journals


Ribosome recycling factor (RRF), elongation factor G (EF-G) and GTP split 70S ribosomes into subunits. Here, we demonstrated that the splitting was transient and the exhaustion of GTP resulted in re-association of the split subunits into 70S ribosomes unless IF3 (initiation factor 3) was present. However, the splitting was observed with sucrose density gradient centrifugation (SDGC) without IF3 if RRF, EF-G and GTP were present in the SDGC buffer. The splitting of 70S ribosomes causes the decrease of light scattering by ribosomes. Kinetic constants obtained from the light scattering studies are sufficient to account for the splitting of 70S ribosomes by RRF and EF-G/GTP during the lag phase for activation of ribosomes for the log phase. As the amount of 70S ribosomes increased, more RRF, EF-G and GTP were necessary to split 70S ribosomes. In the presence of a physiological amount of polyamines, GTP and factors, even 0.6 microM 70S ribosomes (12 times higher than the 70S ribosomes for routine assay) were split. Spermidine (2 mM) completely inhibited anti-association activity of IF3, and the RRF/EF-G/GTP-dependent splitting of 70S ribosomes.

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