Peptide release on the ribosome: Mechanism and implications for translational control

Elaine M. Youngman, Megan E. McDonald, Rachel Green

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Peptide release, the reaction that hydrolyzes a completed protein from the peptidyl-tRNA upon completion of translation, is catalyzed in the active site of the large subunit of the ribosome and requires a class I release factor protein. The ribosome and release factor protein cooperate to accomplish two tasks: recognition of the stop codon and catalysis of peptidyl-tRNA hydrolysis. Although many fundamental questions remain, substantial progress has been made in the past several years. This review summarizes those advances and presents current models for the mechanisms of stop codon specificity and catalysis of peptide release. Finally, we discuss how these views fit into a larger emerging theme in the translation field: the importance of induced fit and conformational changes for progression through the translation cycle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-373
Number of pages21
JournalAnnual review of microbiology
StatePublished - Oct 20 2008


  • Induced fit
  • Protein synthesis
  • Release factors
  • Translation termination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology


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