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

Mutagenesis of Arg335 in bovine mitochondrial elongation factor Tu and the corresponding residue in the Escherichia coli factor affects interactions with mitochondrial aminoacyl-tRNAs.

During protein biosynthesis, elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu) delivers aminoacyl-tRNA (aa-tRNA) to the A-site of the ribosome. Mammalian mitochondrial EF-Tu (EF-Tu(mt)) carries out this activity using aa-tRNAs that lack many of the invariant or semi-invariant residues that stabilize the 3-dimensional structures of canonical tRNAs. The primary sequence of EF-Tu is highly conserved. However, several residues involved in aa-tRNA binding are not conserved between the mitochondrial and bacterial factors. One such residue, located at position 287 in Escherichia coli EF-Tu, is adjacent to the 5' end of the aa-tRNA and is acidic in all prokaryotic factors but is basic in EF-Tu(mt). Site-directed mutagenesis of this residue (Glu287) in E. coli EF-Tu and complementary mutagenesis of the corresponding Arg335 in EF-Tu(mt) was performed to create E. coli EF-Tu E287R and EF-Tu(mt) R335E respectively. EF-Tu(mt) R335E has a reduced activity in ternary complex formation and A-site binding with mitochondrial Phe-tRNA.(Phe) In contrast, E. coli EF-Tu E287R is more active that the wild-type factor in forming ternary complexes with mitochondrial Phe-tRNA,(Phe) and the variant promotes the binding of mitochondrial aa-tRNA to the ribosome more effectively than does the wild-type factor. Both EF-Tu(mt) R335E and E. coli EF-Tu E287R have activities comparable to the corresponding wild-type factors in assays using E. coli Phe-tRNA.(Phe) These data suggest that the residue at position 287 plays an important role in the binding and EF-Tu-mediated delivery of mitochondrial aa-tRNAs to the A-site of the ribosome.[1]


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