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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Structure of the bacterial ribosome at 2 Å resolution.

  • Author(s): Watson, Zoe L
  • Ward, Fred R
  • Méheust, Raphaël
  • Ad, Omer
  • Schepartz, Alanna
  • Banfield, Jillian F
  • Cate, Jamie Hd
  • et al.

Using cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), we determined the structure of the Escherichia coli 70S ribosome with a global resolution of 2.0 Å. The maps reveal unambiguous positioning of protein and RNA residues, their detailed chemical interactions, and chemical modifications. Notable features include the first examples of isopeptide and thioamide backbone substitutions in ribosomal proteins, the former likely conserved in all domains of life. The maps also reveal extensive solvation of the small (30S) ribosomal subunit, and interactions with A-site and P-site tRNAs, mRNA, and the antibiotic paromomycin. The maps and models of the bacterial ribosome presented here now allow a deeper phylogenetic analysis of ribosomal components including structural conservation to the level of solvation. The high quality of the maps should enable future structural analyses of the chemical basis for translation and aid the development of robust tools for cryo-EM structure modeling and refinement.

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