Author(s): Weinger JS, Parnell KM, Dorner S, Green R, Strobel SA
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Abstract The ribosome accelerates the rate of peptide bond formation by at least 10(7)-fold, but the catalytic mechanism remains controversial. Here we report evidence that a functional group on one of the tRNA substrates plays an essential catalytic role in the reaction. Substitution of the P-site tRNA A76 2' OH with 2' H or 2' F results in at least a 10(6)-fold reduction in the rate of peptide bond formation, but does not affect binding of the modified substrates. Such substrate-assisted catalysis is relatively uncommon among modern protein enzymes, but it is a property predicted to be essential for the evolution of enzymatic function. These results suggest that substrate assistance has been retained as a catalytic strategy during the evolution of the prebiotic peptidyl transferase center into the modern ribosome.
This article was published in Nat Struct Mol Biol
and referenced in Journal of Chemical Engineering & Process Technology