Extension and Folding of Nascent Peptides on Ribosomes

  • Boyd Hardesty
  • O. W. Odom
  • Wieslaw Kudlicki
  • Gisela Kramer


The ribosomal synthesis of a peptide bond takes place by transfer of the peptidyl ester of peptidyl-tRNA to the amino acid amino group of an incoming aminoacyl-tRNA. Attempts to isolate an acyl-ribosome intermediate of the kind found for many enzymecatalyzed hydrolyses or transpeptidation reactions have been unsuccessful. This has led many investigators to speculate that transpeptidation by the ribosome is brought about by an appropriate spatial orientation and alignment of the aminoacyl-tRNA and peptidyl-tRNA without the catalytic involvement of special nucleophilic groups of the large ribosomal subunit as discussed by Spirin (1986). The range of covalent derivatives other than peptides or amides that can be formed: esters (Fahnestock et al., 1970), thioesters (Gooch and Hawtrey, 1975), thioamides (Victorova et al., 1976), phosphinoamides (Tarussova et al., 1981) support this hypothesis with the implication that the peptidyl transferase reaction itself is of the SN2 type with nucleophilic substitutions through a tetrahedral intermediate. However, these considerations only serve to emphasize the importance of understanding how the 3’ ends of two tRNAs are brought precisely into reactive proximity to facilitate the reaction that by many measures is the most evolutionarily conserved and fundamental process of life, the reaction system by which genetic information encoded in nucleic acid is translated into protein.


Fluorescence Anisotropy Large Ribosomal Subunit Peptide Bond Formation Peptidyl Transferase Peptidyl Transferase Center 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Boyd Hardesty
    • 1
  • O. W. Odom
    • 1
  • Wieslaw Kudlicki
    • 1
  • Gisela Kramer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry & BiochemistryThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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