Structural integrity of α-helix H12 in translation initiation factor eIF5B is critical for 80S complex stability

Byung Sik Shin, Michael G. Acker, Joo Ran Kim, Kathryn N. Maher, Shamsul M. Arefin, Jon R. Lorsch, Thomas E. Dever

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Translation initiation factor eIF5B promotes GTP-dependent ribosomal subunit joining in the final step of the translation initiation pathway. The protein resembles a chalice with the α-helix H12 forming the stem connecting the GTP-binding domain cup to the domain IV base. Helix H12 has been proposed to function as a rigid lever arm governing domain IV movements in response to nucleotide binding and as a molecular ruler fixing the distance between domain IV and the G domain of the factor. To investigate its function, helix H12 was lengthened or shortened by one or two turns. In addition, six consecutive residues in the helix were substituted by Gly to alter the helical rigidity. Whereas the mutations had minimal impacts on the factor's binding to the ribosome and its GTP binding and hydrolysis activities, shortening the helix by six residues impaired the rate of subunit joining in vitro and both this mutation and the Gly substitution mutation lowered the yield of Met-tRNA iMet bound to 80S complexes formed in the presence of nonhydrolyzable GTP. Thus, these two mutations, which impair yeast cell growth and enhance ribosome leaky scanning in vivo, impair the rate of formation and stability of the 80S product of subunit joining. These data support the notion that helix H12 functions as a ruler connecting the GTPase center of the ribosome to the P site where Met-tRNAiMet is bound and that helix H12 rigidity is required to stabilize Met-tRNAiMet binding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)687-696
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • IF2
  • Subunit joining
  • Translation initiation
  • eIF5B

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology


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