Structural characterization of mRNA-tRNA translocation intermediates

Xabier Agirrezabala, Hstau Y. Liao, Eduard Schreiner, Jie Fu, Rodrigo F. Ortiz-Meoz, Klaus Schulten, Rachel Green, Joachim Frank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cryo-EM analysis of a wild-type Escherichia coli pretranslocational sample has revealed the presence of previously unseen intermediate substates of the bacterial ribosome during the first phase of translocation, characterized by intermediate intersubunit rotations, L1 stalk positions, and tRNA configurations. Furthermore, we describe the domain rearrangements in quantitative terms, which has allowed us to characterize the processivity and coordination of the conformational reorganization of the ribosome, along with the associated changes in tRNA ribosome-binding configuration. The results are consistent with the view of the ribosome as a molecular machine employing Brownian motion to reach a functionally productive state via a series of substates with incremental changes in conformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6094-6099
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 17 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Cryo-EM
  • E. Coli
  • Ribosome
  • Translation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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