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Journal Articles Scientific Reports Year : 2016

The fluctuating ribosome: thermal molecular dynamics characterized by neutron scattering

Abstract

Conformational changes associated with ribosome function have been identified by X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy. These methods, however, inform poorly on timescales. Neutron scattering is well adapted for direct measurements of thermal molecular dynamics, the ‘lubricant’ for the conformational fluctuations required for biological activity. The method was applied to compare water dynamics and conformational fluctuations in the 30 S and 50 S ribosomal subunits from Haloarcula marismortui, under high salt, stable conditions. Similar free and hydration water diffusion parameters are found for both subunits. With respect to the 50 S subunit, the 30 S is characterized by a softer force constant and larger mean square displacements (MSD), which would facilitate conformational adjustments required for messenger and transfer RNA binding. It has been shown previously that systems from mesophiles and extremophiles are adapted to have similar MSD under their respective physiological conditions. This suggests that the results presented are not specific to halophiles in high salt but a general property of ribosome dynamics under corresponding, active conditions. The current study opens new perspectives for neutron scattering characterization of component functional molecular dynamics within the ribosome.
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hal-01417992 , version 1 (16-12-2016)

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Giuseppe Zaccai, Francesca Natali, Judith Peters, Martina Řihová, Ella Zimmerman, et al.. The fluctuating ribosome: thermal molecular dynamics characterized by neutron scattering. Scientific Reports, 2016, 6, pp.37138 ⟨10.1038/srep37138⟩. ⟨hal-01417992⟩
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