Alterations in the ribosomal protein bL12 of E. coli affecting the initiation, elongation and termination of protein synthesis.

Adam D YounkinMichael O'Connor


In bacteria, ribosomal protein bL12 forms the prominent stalk structure on the ribosome and binds to multiple, distinct translational GTPase factors during the sequential steps of translation. Using a genetic selection in E. coli for altered readthrough of UGA stop codons, we have isolated seven different mutations affecting the C-terminal domain of the protein that forms the interaction surface with translation factors. Analysis of these altered proteins, along with four additional alterations previously shown to affect IF2-ribosome interactions, indicates that multiple steps of translation are affected, consistent with bL12's interaction with multiple factors. Surprisingly, deletion of the release factor GTPase, RF3, has relatively little effect on bL12-promoted stop codon readthrough, suggesting that other steps in termination are also influenced by bL12.


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