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Poul Nissen

The Busiest of All Ribosomal Assistants: Elongation Factor Tu

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During translation, the nucleic acid language employed by genes is translated into the amino acid language used by proteins. The translator is the ribosome, while the dictionary employed is known as the genetic code. The genetic information is presented to the ribosome in the form of a mRNA, and tRNAs connect the two languages. Translation takes place in three steps: initiation, elongation, and termination. After a protein has been synthesized, the components of the translation apparatus are recycled. During each phase of translation, the ribosome collaborates with specific translation factors, which secure a proper balance between speed and fidelity. Notably, initiation, termination, and ribosomal recycling occur only once per protein produced during normal translation, while the elongation step is repeated a large number of times, corresponding to the number of amino acids constituting the protein of interest. In bacteria, elongation factor Tu plays a central role during the selection of the correct amino acids throughout the elongation phase of translation. Elongation factor Tu is the main subject of this review.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2642-2651
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

    Research areas

  • Models, Molecular, Peptide Elongation Factor Tu, Protein Biosynthesis, Ribosomes

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