Ribosome Recycling Factor Mimics Shape, But Not The Functions of Transfer RNA
RRF Protein Offers Potential Target for New Antibiotics
The fact that ribosome recycling factor (RRF) looks a lot like transfer RNA (tRNA) has not been lost on scientists. After all, both molecules are an important part of a bacterias ability to create new proteins. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the University of Southern California, Santa Cruz, however, have found that this case of molecular mimicry has more to do with the shape of the molecules and not necessarily the job they perform. Their structural analysis of the RRF ribosome complex, presented in the current issue of the journal Cell, shows that RRF does not bind to the ribosome in the same location as tRNA.
"It is said that form follows function, but we see here that is not always true," said Akira Kaji, PhD, from Penns Department of Microbiology. "The L-shaped structure of both RRF and tRNA may have more to do with the spatial constraints of maneuvering within the folds of the ribosome than their actual tasks."
Greg Lester | EurekAlert!
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