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Analysis of the conformation of the 3′ major domain of Escherichia coli 16S ribosomal RNA using site-directed photoaffinity crosslinking

  • ALEXANDRE MONTPETIT (a1), CATHERINE PAYANT (a1), JAMES M. NOLAN (a2) and LÉA BRAKIER-GINGRAS (a1)

Abstract

The 3′ major domain of Escherichia coli 16S rRNA, which occupies the head of the small ribosomal subunit, is involved in several functions of the ribosome. We have used a site-specific crosslinking procedure to gain further insights into the higher-order structure of this domain. Circularly permuted RNAs were used to introduce an azidophenacyl group at specific positions within the 3′ major domain. Crosslinks were generated in a high-ionic strength buffer that has been used for ribosome reconstitution studies and so enables the RNA to adopt a structure recognized by ribosomal proteins. The crosslinking sites were identified by primer extension and confirmed by assessing the mobility of the crosslinked RNA lariats in denaturing polyacrylamide gels. Eight crosslinks were characterized. Among them, one crosslink demonstrates that helix 28 is proximal to the top of helix 34, and two others show that the 1337 region, located in an internal loop at the junction of helices 29, 30, 41, and 42, is proximal to the center of helix 30 and to a segment connecting helix 28 to helix 29. These relationships of vicinity have previously been observed in native 30S subunits, which suggests that the free domain adopts a conformation similar to that within the 30S subunit. Furthermore, crosslinks were obtained in helix 34, which suggest that the upper and lower portions of this helix are in close proximity.

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Reprint requests to: Léa Brakier-Gingras, Département de Biochimie, Université de Montréal, 2900 blvd Edouard-Montpetit, Montréal, Québec H3T 1J4, Canada; e-mail: gingras@bcm.umontreal.ca

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Analysis of the conformation of the 3′ major domain of Escherichia coli 16S ribosomal RNA using site-directed photoaffinity crosslinking

  • ALEXANDRE MONTPETIT (a1), CATHERINE PAYANT (a1), JAMES M. NOLAN (a2) and LÉA BRAKIER-GINGRAS (a1)

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