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

Suppression of rpsL phenotypes by tuf mutations reveals a unique relationship between translation elongation and growth rate.

We have found a simple relationship between bacterial growth rate and the translation elongation rate. Thus, for a set of defined ribosomal protein S12 mutations which reduce the efficiency of the ternary complex ribosome interaction (and restrict the frequency of translational errors) there is a linear relationship between growth rate and translation elongation rate. When these mutants are combined with defined EF-Tu mutants (which increase the probability of translational errors) both the elongation rate and growth rate reductions are reversed. The reductions and reversals are described by a unique linear relationship. We interpret this to mean that these two types of mutation exert opposing effects on the same molecular interaction. We suggest that this interaction is in the initial selection of the aminoacyl-tRNA on the ribosome. The slope of the relationship between translation elongation rate and growth rate, defined in per cent of the wild-type rates, is close to 1. Interestingly, the reversal of the elongation and growth phenotypes is incomplete, suggesting that the ribosomal mutants have an additional defect which is not compensated for by the ternary complex interaction. Our results show that the efficiency of the ternary complex ribosome interaction limits the translation elongation rate, which in turn correlates with changes in exponential growth rate.[1]


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