Initiation of mRNA translation in bacteria: structural and dynamic aspects

Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences : CMLS
Claudio O Gualerzi, Cynthia L Pon

Abstract

Initiation of mRNA translation is a major checkpoint for regulating level and fidelity of protein synthesis. Being rate limiting in protein synthesis, translation initiation also represents the target of many post-transcriptional mechanisms regulating gene expression. The process begins with the formation of an unstable 30S pre-initiation complex (30S pre-IC) containing initiation factors (IFs) IF1, IF2 and IF3, the translation initiation region of an mRNA and initiator fMet-tRNA whose codon and anticodon pair in the P-site following a first-order rearrangement of the 30S pre-IC produces a locked 30S initiation complex (30SIC); this is docked by the 50S subunit to form a 70S complex that, following several conformational changes, positional readjustments of its ligands and ejection of the IFs, becomes a 70S initiation complex productive in initiation dipeptide formation. The first EF-G-dependent translocation marks the beginning of the elongation phase of translation. Here, we review structural, mechanistic and dynamical aspects of this process.

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Related Concepts

tRNA, formylmethionine-
DNA Conformation
Peptide Initiation Factors
Ribosomes
Poly(A) Tail
RNA, Transfer, Initiator
Protein Biosynthesis
Codon, Initiator
Anticodon
Dipeptides

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