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Time-resolved fluorescence studies on the ternary complex formed between bacterial elongation factor Tu, guanosine 5'-triphosphate, and phenylalanyl-tRNAPhe

Time-resolved fluorescence studies on the ternary complex formed between bacterial elongation factor Tu, guanosine 5'-triphosphate, and phenylalanyl-tRNAPhe

Biochemistry 28(9): 4109-4117

ISSN/ISBN: 0006-2960

PMID: 2665814

DOI: 10.1021/bi00435a073

Time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy was used to investigate the solution dynamics of Escherichia coli tRNAPhe, Phe-tRNAPhe, and Phe-tRNAPhe associated with GTP and elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu) in a ternary complex. Two fluorescence probes were employed: fluorescein, covalently bound to Phe-tRNAPhe at the s4U8 base (Phe-tRNAPhe-Fl8), and ethidium bromide, noncovalently associated with the tRNA (EB.Phe-tRNAPhe). The lifetimes observed for ethidium bromide were 1.89 ns, free in solution, and 26.3 ns, bound to its tight binding site on tRNA. Fluorescein-labeled tRNA had a lifetime of 4.3 ns, with no significant difference among the values for aminoacylated, unacylated, and EF-Tu-bound Phe-tRNAPhe-Fl8. Differential phase and modulation data for each fluorophore-tRNA system were fit with local and global Debye rotational relaxation times. Local motion of the labeled fluorescein in Phe-tRNAPhe-Fl8, tRNAPhe-Fl8, and Phe-tRNAPhe-Fl8.EF-Tu.GTP was characterized by rotational relaxation times of 2.7 +/- 0.5, 2.4 +/- 0.4, and 2.4 +/- 0.1 ns, respectively. These values are equal, within experimental error, and suggest that the rotational mobility of the s4U8-conjugated dye is unaffected by either tRNAPhe aminoacylation or ternary complex formation. Global rotational relaxation times for Phe-tRNAPhe-Fl8, 97 ns, and EB.Phe-tRNAPhe, 140 ns, were equivalent to those determined for the unacylated species, denoting little change in the overall size or shape of the tRNA molecule upon aminoacylation. These values for (Phe-)tRNA were larger than expected for a hydrated sphere of equivalent volume, 83 ns, and therefore confirm the asymmetric nature of the tRNA structure in solution.

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Accession: 018185804

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