Elongation factors EF-G and EF-Tu are structural homologues and share near-identical binding sites on the ribosome, which encompass the GTPase-associated centre (GAC) and the sarcin-ricin loop (SRL). The SRL is fixed structure in the ribosome and contacts elongation factors in the vicinity of their GTP-binding site. In contrast, the GAC is mobile and we hypothesize that it interacts with the alpha helix D of the EF-Tu G-domain in the same way as with the alpha helix A of the G′-domain of EF-G. The mutual locations of these helices and GTP-binding sites in the structures of EF-Tu and EF-G are different. Thus, the orientation of the GAC relative to the SRL determines whether EF-G or EF-Tu will bind to the ribosome.
- Elongation factors
- GTPase-associated centre