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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Crystal structure of elongation factor P from Thermus thermophilus HB8.

Translation elongation factor P (EF-P) stimulates ribosomal peptidyltransferase activity. EF-P is conserved in bacteria and is essential for cell viability. Eukarya and Archaea have an EF-P homologue, eukaryotic initiation factor 5A (eIF-5A). In the present study, we determined the crystal structure of EF-P from Thermus thermophilus HB8 at a 1.65-A resolution. EF-P consists of three beta-barrel domains (I, II, and III), whereas eIF-5A has only two domains (N and C domains). Domain I of EF-P is topologically the same as the N domain of eIF-5A. On the other hand, EF-P domains II and III share the same topology as that of the eIF-5A C domain, indicating that domains II and III arose by duplication. Intriguingly, the N-terminal half of domain II and the C-terminal half of domain III of EF-P have sequence homologies to the N- and C-terminal halves, respectively, of the eIF-5A C domain. The three domains of EF-P are arranged in an "L" shape, with 65- and 53-A-long arms at an angle of 95 degrees, which is reminiscent of tRNA. Furthermore, most of the EF-P protein surface is negatively charged. Therefore, EF-P mimics the tRNA shape but uses domain topologies different from those of the known tRNA-mimicry translation factors. Domain I of EF-P has a conserved positive charge at its tip, like the eIF-5A N domain.[1]


  1. Crystal structure of elongation factor P from Thermus thermophilus HB8. Hanawa-Suetsugu, K., Sekine, S., Sakai, H., Hori-Takemoto, C., Terada, T., Unzai, S., Tame, J.R., Kuramitsu, S., Shirouzu, M., Yokoyama, S. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2004) [Pubmed]
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