Mutations in ribosomal proteins S4 and S12 influence the higher order structure of 16 S ribosomal RNA.

Article Details


Allen PN, Noller HF

Mutations in ribosomal proteins S4 and S12 influence the higher order structure of 16 S ribosomal RNA.

J Mol Biol. 1989 Aug 5;208(3):457-68.

PubMed ID
2477554 [ View in PubMed

We have studied the effects of protein mutations on the higher order structure of 16 S rRNA in Escherichia coli ribosomes, using a set of structure-sensitive chemical probes. Ten mutant strains were studied, which contained alterations in ribosomal proteins S4 and S12, including double mutants containing both altered S4 and S12. Two ribosomal ambiguity (ram) S4 mutant strains, four streptomycin resistant (SmR) S12 mutant strains, one streptomycin pseudodependent (SmP) S12 mutant strain, one streptomycin dependent (SmD) S12 mutant strain and two streptomycin independent (Sm1) double mutants (containing both-SmD and ram mutations) were probed and compared to an isogenic wild-type strain. In ribosomes from strains containing S4 ram mutations, nucleotides A8 and A26 become more reactive to dimethyl sulfate (DMS) at their N-1 positions. In ribosomes from strains bearing the SmD allele, A908, A909, A1413 and G1487 are significantly less reactive to chemical probes. These same effects are observed when the S4 and S12 mutations are present simultaneously in the double mutants. An interesting correlation is found between the reactivity of A908 and the miscoding potential of SmR, SmD, SmP and wild-type ribosomes; the reactivity of A908 increases as the translational error frequency of the ribosomes increases. In the case of ram ribosomes, the reactivity of A908 resembles that of wild-type, unless tRNA is bound, in which case it becomes hyper-reactive. Similarly, streptomycin has little effect on A908 in wild-type ribosomes unless tRNA is bound, in which case its reactivity increases to resemble that of ram ribosomes with bound tRNA. Finally, interaction of streptomycin with SmP and SmD ribosomes causes the reactivity of A908 to increase to near-wild-type levels. A simple model is proposed, in which the reactivity of A908 reflects the position of an equilibrium between two conformational states of the 30 S subunit, one of which is DMS-reactive, and the other DMS-unreactive. In this model, the balance between these two states would be influenced by proteins S4 and S12. Mutations in S12 generally cause a shift toward the unreactive conformer, and in the case of SmD and SmP ribosomes, this shift can be suppressed phenotypically by streptomycin, ram mutations in protein S4 cause a shift toward the reactive conformer, but only when tRNA is bound. This suggests that the opposing effects of these two classes of mutations influence the proof-reading process by somewhat different mechanisms.

DrugBank Data that Cites this Article

NameUniProt ID
30S ribosomal protein S4P0A7V8Details
30S ribosomal protein S12P0A7S3Details