Thermodynamic Characterization of the Cooperativity of 40S Complex Formation during the Initiation of Eukaryotic Protein Synthesis

Kay M. Parkhurst, Ronald E. Hileman, Debabrata Saha, Naba K. Gupta, Lawrence J. Parkhurst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The first step in mammalian protein synthesis is the formation of the 40S initiation complex, composed of the 40S ribosomal subunit (R), mRNA (M, here, a 10-mer oligoribonucleotide analogue containing the initiation codon),and the quaternary complex (Q,composed of eIF-2, GTP, Met-tRNAfMet, and the ancillary protein factor Co-eIF-2C). The interdependence of the binding of R, M, and Q in forming the 40S complex is currently unclear. We have determined the thermodynamic parameters that characterize these interactions. The binary constants for R + M and Q + M were determined spectroscopically, measuring changes in the anisotropy of the fluorescence emission of 3′-fluorescein labeled M. The other binary constant, for Q + R, and the ternary constant were determined from Millipore filtration assays using radiolabeled Met-tRNAfMet. The association constants for the binary reactions were as follows: Ka(Q,M) ≤ 0.14 × 6 M-1, AT,(R,M) = 1.78 × 106 M-1, and Ka(Q,R) = 0.94 × 106 M-1. The binding of Q to R·M was markedly greater than that of Q to R (Ka(Q,R·M)/Ka(Q,R) > 62]. High cooperativity for this interaction occurs in either a single-site model or in lattice models for the binding of M to R. Data obtained using five other RNA 10-mers, each with the sequence altered at the AUG codon, suggest that this cooperativity is AUG dependent. The data are consistent with a scheme in which mRNA and Q bind independently to the 40S ribosome, but when the AUG codon is properly aligned with Q, a conformational change results in a 2.4 kcal/mol stabilization of the complex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15168-15177
Number of pages10
Issue number50
StatePublished - Dec 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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