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Title: Ratchet, swivel, tilt and roll: a complete description of subunit rotation in the ribosome

Protein synthesis by the ribosome requires large-scale rearrangements of the ‘small’ subunit (SSU; ∼1 MDa), including inter- and intra-subunit rotational motions. However, with nearly 2000 structures of ribosomes and ribosomal subunits now publicly available, it is exceedingly difficult to design experiments based on analysis of all known rotation states. To overcome this, we developed an approach where the orientation of each SSU head and body is described in terms of three angular coordinates (rotation, tilt and tilt direction) and a single translation. By considering the entire RCSB PDB database, we describe 1208 fully-assembled ribosome complexes and 334 isolated small subunits, which span >50 species. This reveals aspects of subunit rearrangements that are universal, and others that are organism/domain-specific. For example, we show that tilt-like rearrangements of the SSU body (i.e. ‘rolling’) are pervasive in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic (cytosolic and mitochondrial) ribosomes. As another example, domain orientations associated with frameshifting in bacteria are similar to those found in eukaryotic ribosomes. Together, this study establishes a common foundation with which structural, simulation, single-molecule and biochemical efforts can more precisely interrogate the dynamics of this prototypical molecular machine.

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Award ID(s):
2019745 1915843
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Nucleic Acids Research
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 919-934
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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