The role of fluctuations in tRNA selection by the ribosome

Tae Hee Lee, Scott C. Blanchard, Harold D. Kim, Joseph D. Puglisi, Steven Chu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


The detailed mechanism of how the ribosome decodes protein sequence information with an abnormally high accuracy, after 40 years of study, remains elusive. A critical element in selecting correct transfer RNA (tRNA) transferring correct amino acid is "induced fit" between the ribosome and tRNA. By using singlemolecule methods, the induced fit mechanism is shown to position favorably the correct tRNA after initial codon recognition. We provide evidence that this difference in positioning and thermal fluctuations constitutes the primary mechanism for the initial selection of tRNA. This work demonstrates thermal fluctuations playing a critical role in the substrate selection by an enzyme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13661-13665
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number34
StatePublished - Aug 21 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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