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Keywords:

  • translation;
  • ribosome;
  • translation factors;
  • tRNA

ABSTRACT

The elongation phase of translation is promoted by three universal elongation factors, EF-Tu, EF-Ts, and EF-G in bacteria and their homologs in archaea and eukaryotes. Recent findings demonstrate that the translation of a subset of mRNAs requires a fourth elongation factor, EF-P in bacteria or the homologs factors a/eIF5A in other kingdoms of life. EF-P prevents the ribosome from stalling during the synthesis of proteins containing consecutive Pro residues, such as PPG, PPP, or longer Pro clusters. The efficient and coordinated synthesis of such proteins is required for bacterial growth, motility, virulence, and stress response. EF-P carries a unique post-translational modification, which contributes to its catalytic proficiency. The modification enzymes, which are lacking in higher eukaryotes, provide attractive new targets for the development of new, highly specific antimicrobials. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Biopolymers 99: 837–845, 2013.