The interaction between C75 of tRNA and the A loop of the ribosome stimulates peptidyl transferase activity

Julie L. Brunelle, Elaine M. Youngman, Divya Sharma, Rachel Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Ribosomal variants carrying mutations in active site nucleotides are severely compromised in their ability to catalyze peptide bond formation (PT) with minimal aminoacyl tRNA substrates such as puromycin. However, catalysis of PT by these same ribosomes with intact aminoacyl tRNA substrates is uncompromised. These data suggest that these active site nucleotides play an important role in the positioning of minimal aminoacyl tRNA substrates but are not essential for catalysis per se when aminoacyl tRNAs are positioned by more remote interactions with the ribosome. Previously reported biochemical studies and atomic resolution X-ray structures identified a direct Watson-Crick interaction between C75 of the A-site substrate and G2553 of the 23S rRNA. Here we show that the addition of this single cytidine residue (the C75 equivalent) to puromycin is sufficient to suppress the deficiencies of active site ribosomal variants, thus restoring "tRNA-like" behavior to this minimal substrate. Studies of the binding parameters and the pH-dependence of catalysis with this minimal substrate indicate that the interaction between C75 and the ribosomal A loop is an essential feature for robust catalysis and further suggest that the observed effects of C75 on peptidyl transfer activity reflect previously reported conformational rearrangements in this active site. Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-39
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • A loop
  • Peptidyl transfer
  • Ribosome
  • pH-rate profile
  • tRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology


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