, Volume 280, Issue 4, pp 337-350
Date: 27 Aug 2008

Functional features of the C-terminal region of yeast ribosomal protein L5

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The aim of this study was to analyze the functional importance of the C-terminus of the essential yeast ribosomal protein L5 (YrpL5). Previous studies have indicated that the C-terminal region of YrpL5 forms an α-helix with a positively charged surface that is involved in protein–5S rRNA interaction. Formation of an YrpL5·5S rRNA complex is a prerequisite for nuclear import of YrpL5. Here we have tested the importance of the α-helix and the positively charged surface for YrpL5 function in Saccharomyces cerevisiae using site directed mutagenesis in combination with functional complementation. Alterations in the sequence forming the putative α-helix affected the functional capacity of YrpL5. However, the effect did not correlate with a decreased ability of the protein to bind to 5S rRNA as all rpL5 mutants tested were imported to the nucleus whether or not the α-helix or the positively charged surface were intact. The alterations introduced in the C-terminal sequence affected the growth rate of cells expressing mutant but functional forms of YrpL5. The reduced growth rate was correlated with a reduced ribosomal content per cell indicating that the alterations introduced in the C-terminus interfered with ribosome assembly.