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

Interaction of Escherichia coli ribosomal protein S8 with its binding sites in ribosomal RNA and messenger RNA.

The ability of ribosomal protein S8 from Escherichia coli to interact with 12 variants of its 16 S rRNA binding site, as well as with a regulatory sequence within spc operon mRNA, has been assessed. Single-site alterations were introduced into the appropriate segment of the E. coli 16 S rRNA gene by mutagenesis in vitro. Their effects on S8-rRNA interaction were measured via a filter-binding assay, utilizing S8 binding sites transcribed in vitro from the altered 16 S rRNA gene fragments. Of the 12 rRNA mutants, six were unable to bind S8. Significantly, five of these occur within a small, phylogenetically conserved internal loop, defined by nucleotides 596-597 and 641-643, suggesting that this structure plays a major role in S8-16 S rRNA recognition. The reduced affinity of S8 for its binding site in these cases was closely correlated with growth defects that resulted from expression of the same mutations in vivo. Alterations at other positions in the S8 binding site had little influence on complex formation or cell growth, as long as they did not disrupt rRNA secondary structure. The specific interaction of S8 with a segment of the spc operon mRNA containing a putative site of translational feedback regulation was demonstrated using appropriate in vitro transcripts in conjunction with the filter-binding assay. The apparent association constant for the S8-mRNA interaction was determined to be approximately 5 x 10(6) M-1, about five times lower than for the interaction of S8 with wild-type 16 S rRNA. The structure of the regulatory binding site, determined by sequence analysis of spc operon mRNA protected by S8 from RNase digestion, was found to contain all of the characteristic features of the 16 S rRNA binding site, demonstrating that the protein associates with structurally similar domains in both RNAs.[1]


  1. Interaction of Escherichia coli ribosomal protein S8 with its binding sites in ribosomal RNA and messenger RNA. Gregory, R.J., Cahill, P.B., Thurlow, D.L., Zimmermann, R.A. J. Mol. Biol. (1988) [Pubmed]
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