ACS Chem Biol 2012 May 24;7(5):871-8. Epub 2012 Feb 24.
Department of Chemistry, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.
As part of the central core domain of the ribosome, helix 69 of 23S rRNA participates in an important intersubunit bridge and contacts several protein translation factors. Helix 69 is believed to play key roles in protein synthesis. Even though high-resolution crystal structures of the ribosome exist, the solution dynamics and roles of individual nucleotides in H69 are still not well-defined. To better understand the influence of modified nucleotides, specifically pseudouridine, on the multiple conformational states of helix 69 in the context of 50S subunits and 70S ribosomes, chemical probing analyses were performed on wild-type and pseudouridine-deficient bacterial ribosomes. Local structural rearrangements of helix 69 upon ribosomal subunit association and interactions with its partner, helix 44 of 16S rRNA, are observed. The helix 69 conformational states are also magnesium-dependent. The probing data presented in this study provide insight into the functional role of helix 69 dynamics and regulation of these conformational states by post-transcriptional pseudouridine modification.