Thiostrepton inhibits stable 70S ribosome binding and ribosome-dependent GTPase activation of elongation factor G and elongation factor 4

Justin D. Walter, Margaret Hunter, Melanie Cobb, Geoff Traeger, P. Clint Spiegel

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28 Scopus citations


Thiostrepton, a macrocyclic thiopeptide antibiotic, inhibits prokaryotic translation by interfering with the function of elongation factor G (EF-G). Here, we have used 70S ribosome binding and GTP hydrolysis assays to study the effects of thiostrepton on EF-G and a newly described translation factor, elongation factor 4 (EF4). In the presence of thiostrepton, ribosome-dependent GTP hydrolysis is inhibited for both EF-G and EF4, with IC(50) values equivalent to the 70S ribosome concentration (0.15M). Further studies indicate the mode of thiostrepton inhibition is to abrogate the stable binding of EF-G and EF4 to the 70S ribosome. In support of this model, an EF-G truncation variant that does not possess domains IV and V was shown to possess ribosome-dependent GTP hydrolysis activity that was not affected by the presence of thiostrepton (>100M). Lastly, chemical footprinting was employed to examine the nature of ribosome interaction and tRNA movements associated with EF4. In the presence of non-hydrolyzable GTP, EF4 showed chemical protections similar to EF-G and stabilized a ratcheted state of the 70S ribosome. These data support the model that thiostrepton inhibits stable GTPase binding to 70S ribosomal complexes, and a model for the first step of EF4-catalyzed reverse-translocation is presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)360-370
Number of pages11
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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