Ribosomal activity of the 16 S·23 S RNA complex

Burma, D. P. ; Tewari, D. S. ; Srivastava, A. K. (1985) Ribosomal activity of the 16 S·23 S RNA complex Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 239 (2). pp. 427-435. ISSN 0003-9861

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Official URL: http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/000398...

Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0003-9861(85)90708-8


It has been demonstrated in this laboratory that 16 S and 23 S RNAs form a binary complex like 30 S and 50 S ribosomes under certain specific conditions, and 5 S RNA can be incorporated into the complex in stoichiometric amounts in presence of three ribosomal proteins, L5, L18, and L15/25. These studies raised the basic question of whether such complex will have biological activity. Therefore, the following steps in protein synthesis were examined with the complex in place of the ribosomes: (i) poly-U-dependent binding of phenylalanyl tRNA; (ii) EF-G-dependent GTPase activity; (iii) initiation complex formation; (iv) peptidyl transferase activity; and (v) poly-U-dependent polyphenylalanine synthesis. All the steps could be unequivocally demonstrated by the addition of a limited number of proteins although the complex had comparatively much less activity than 70 S ribosomes. It appears that rRNAs are directly involved in various steps of protein synthesis. Furthermore, the 16 S· 23 S RNA complex might have acted as a primitive ribosome, as suggested by Crick and Orgel.

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