Mechanism of translational initiation in prokaryotes. Evidence for a direct effect of IF2 on the activity of the 30 S ribosomal subunit

FEBS Letters
M A CanonacoClaudio O Gualerzi


Initiation factor IF2 from either Escherichia coli or Bacillus stearothermophilus was found to possess the previously undetected property of stimulating the template-dependent ribosomal binding of aminoacyl-tRNAs with free alpha-NH2 groups. IF1, which had no detectable activity alone, was found to stimulate the activity of E. coli IF2 and, to a lesser extent, that of B. stearothermophilus IF2. Since in the absence of ribosomes not even a weak interaction between the two IF2 molecules and the aminoacyl-tRNAs was detected, the present findings indicate that IF2 can act at the ribosomal level stimulating aminoacyl-tRNA binding without prior formation of a binary complex with the aminoacyl-tRNA. IF2 does not appear to open or strengthen a weak A-site binding, but rather to enhance aminoacyl-tRNA binding to a 30 S site equivalent to the P-site by slowing down the rate of aminoacyl-tRNA dissociation from ribosomes.


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