Conformation and dynamics of ribosomal stalk protein L12 in solution and on the ribosome

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Abstract

During translation, the ribosome and several of its constituent proteins undergo structural transitions between different functional states. Protein L12, present in four copies in prokaryotic ribosomes, forms a flexible "stalk" with key functions in factor-dependent GTP hydrolysis during translocation. Here we have used heteronuclear NMR spectroscopy to characterize L12 conformation and dynamics in solution and on the ribosome. Isolated L 12 forms a symmetric dimer mediated by the N-terminal domains (NTDs), to which each C-terminal domain (CTD) is connected via an unstructured hinge segment. The overall structure can be described as three ellipsoids joined by flexible linkers. No persistent contacts are seen between the two CTDs, or between the NTD and CTD in the L12 dimer in solution. In the H-1-N-15 HSQC spectrum of the Escherichia coli 70S ribosome, a single set of cross-peaks are observed for residues 40-120 of L12, the intensities of which correspond to only two of four protein copies. The structure of the CTDs observed on the ribosome is indistinguishable from that of isolated L12. These results indicate that two CTDs with identical average structures are mobile and extend away from the ribosome, while the other two copies most likely interact tightly with the ribosome even in the absence of translational factors.

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  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5930-5936
JournalBiochemistry
Volume43
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes