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eIF5B gates the transition from translation initiation to elongation

By Jinfan Wang, Alex G. Johnson, Christopher P. Lapointe, Junhong Choi, Arjun Prabhakar, Dong-Hua Chen, Alexey N Petrov, Joseph D. Puglisi

Posted 23 Mar 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/587022 (published DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-1561-0)

Translation initiation determines both the quantity and identity of the protein product by establishing the reading frame for protein synthesis. In eukaryotic cells, numerous translation initiation factors (eIFs) prepare ribosomes for polypeptide elongation, yet the underlying dynamics of this process remain enigmatic. A central question is how eukaryotic ribosomes transition from translation initiation to elongation. Here, we applied in vitro single-molecule fluorescence microscopy approaches to monitor directly in real time the pathways of late translation initiation and the transition to elongation using a purified yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae translation system. This transition was remarkably slower in our eukaryotic system than that reported for Escherichia coli. The slow entry to elongation was defined by a long residence time of eIF5B on the 80S ribosome after joining of individual ribosomal subunits, which is catalyzed by this universally conserved initiation factor. Inhibition of eIF5B GTPase activity following subunit joining prevented eIF5B dissociation from the 80S complex, thereby preventing elongation. Our findings illustrate how eIF5B dissociation serves as a kinetic checkpoint for the transition from initiation to elongation, and its release may be governed by a conformation of the ribosome complex that triggers GTP hydrolysis.

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