Author(s): Mansouri S, Nourollahzadeh E, Hudak KA
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Abstract Ribosome-inactivating proteins, such as the pokeweed antiviral protein (PAP), inhibit translation by depurinating the conserved sarcin/ricin loop of the large ribosomal RNA. Depurinated ribosomes are unable to bind elongation factor 2, and, thus, the translocation step of the elongation cycle is inhibited. Though the consequences of depurination are well characterized, the ribosome conformation required for depurination to take place has not been described. In this report, we correlate biochemical and genetic data to conclude that pokeweed antiviral protein depurinates the sarcin/ricin loop when the A-site of the ribosomal peptidyl-transferase center is unoccupied. We show that prior incubation of ribosomes with puromycin, an analog of the 3'-terminus of aminoacyl-tRNA, inhibits both binding and depurination by PAP in a concentration-dependent manner. Expression of PAP in the yeast strain mak8-1 results in little depurination unless the cells are lysed, a process that would promote loss of aminoacyl-tRNA from the ribosome. The mak8-1 strain is known to exhibit a higher affinity for aminoacyl-tRNA compared with wild-type cells, and therefore, its ribosomes are more resistant to PAP in vivo. These data contribute to the mechanism of action of pokeweed antiviral protein; specifically, they have uncovered the ribosomal conformation required for depurination that leads to subsequent translation inhibition.
This article was published in RNA
and referenced in Biochemistry & Pharmacology: Open Access