Oct 1, 1996

The central pseudoknot in 16S ribosomal RNA is needed for ribosome stability but is not essential for 30S initiation complex formation

Nucleic Acids Research
R A PootJ van Duin


To examine the function of the central pseudoknot in 16S rRNA, we have studied Escherichia coli 30S subunits with the A18 mutation in this structure element. Previously, this mutation, which changes the central base pair of helix 2, C18--G917, to an A18xG917 mismatch, was shown to inhibit translation in vivo and a defect in initiation was suggested. Here, we find that the mutant 30S particles are impaired in forming 70S tight couples and predominantly accumulate as free 30S subunits. Formation of a 30S initiation complex, as measured by toeprinting, was almost as efficient for mutant 30S subunits, derived from the tight couple fraction, as for the wild-type control. However, the A18 mutation has a profound effect on the overall stability of the subunit. The mutant ribosomes were inactivated by affinity chromatography and high salt treatment, due to easy loss of ribosomal proteins. Accordingly, the particles could be reactivated by partial in vitro reconstitution with 30S ribosomal proteins. Mutant 30S subunits from the free subunit fraction were already inactive upon isolation, but could also be reactivated by reconstitution. Apparently, the inactivity in initiation of these mutant 30S subunits is, at least in part, also due to...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

RNA Conformation
Molecular Helix
Alkalescens-Dispar Group
Ribosomal Proteins
Complex (molecular entity)
Helix (Snails)
Transcription Initiation
Thyroid Hormone Plasma Membrane Transport Defect

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