Single-molecule fluorescence measurements of ribosomal translocation dynamics.
ABSTRACT: We employ single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) to study structural dynamics over the first two elongation cycles of protein synthesis, using ribosomes containing either Cy3-labeled ribosomal protein L11 and A- or P-site Cy5-labeled tRNA or Cy3- and Cy5-labeled tRNAs. Pretranslocation (PRE) complexes demonstrate fluctuations between classical and hybrid forms, with concerted motions of tRNAs away from L11 and from each other when classical complex converts to hybrid complex. EF-G?GTP binding to both hybrid and classical PRE complexes halts these fluctuations prior to catalyzing translocation to form the posttranslocation (POST) complex. EF-G dependent translocation from the classical PRE complex proceeds via transient formation of a short-lived hybrid intermediate. A-site binding of either EF-G to the PRE complex or of aminoacyl-tRNA?EF-Tu ternary complex to the POST complex markedly suppresses ribosome conformational lability.
Project description:Ribosomal frameshifting occurs when a ribosome slips a few nucleotides on an mRNA and generates a new sequence of amino acids. Programmed -1 ribosomal frameshifting (-1PRF) is used in various systems to express two or more proteins from a single mRNA at precisely regulated levels. We used single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) to study the dynamics of -1PRF in the Escherichia coli dnaX gene. The frameshifting mRNA (FSmRNA) contained the frameshifting signals: a Shine-Dalgarno sequence, a slippery sequence, and a downstream stem loop. The dynamics of ribosomal complexes translating through the slippery sequence were characterized using smFRET between the Cy3-labeled L1 stalk of the large ribosomal subunit and a Cy5-labeled tRNA(Lys) in the ribosomal peptidyl-tRNA-binding (P) site. We observed significantly slower elongation factor G (EF-G)-catalyzed translocation through the slippery sequence of FSmRNA in comparison with an mRNA lacking the stem loop, ?SL. Furthermore, the P-site tRNA/L1 stalk of FSmRNA-programmed pretranslocation (PRE) ribosomal complexes exhibited multiple fluctuations between the classical/open and hybrid/closed states, respectively, in the presence of EF-G before translocation, in contrast with ?SL-programmed PRE complexes, which sampled the hybrid/closed state approximately once before undergoing translocation. Quantitative analysis showed that the stimulatory stem loop destabilizes the hybrid state and elevates the energy barriers corresponding to subsequent substeps of translocation. The shift of the FSmRNA-programmed PRE complex equilibrium toward the classical/open state and toward states that favor EF-G dissociation apparently allows the PRE complex to explore alternative translocation pathways such as -1PRF.
Project description:The pretranslocation complex of the ribosome can undergo spontaneous fluctuations of messenger RNA and transfer RNAs (tRNAs) between classical and hybrid states, and occupation of the hybrid tRNA positions has been proposed to precede translocation. The classical and hybrid state tRNA positions have been extensively characterized when the ribosome is stalled along the messenger RNA by either the absence or delayed addition of elongation factor G (EF-G), or by the presence of antibiotics or GTP analogs that block translocation. However, during multiple ongoing elongation cycles when both EF-G and ternary complexes are present, EF-G can bind to the pretranslocation complex much faster than the timescale of the classic-hybrid transitions. Using single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer between adjacent tRNAs and between A-site tRNA and ribosomal protein L11, we found that the tRNAs do not fluctuate between the hybrid and classical states, but instead adopt a position with fluorescence resonance energy transfer efficiencies between those of the stalled classical and hybrid states.
Project description:The universally conserved translation elongation factor EF-Tu delivers aminoacyl(aa)-tRNA in the form of an aa-tRNA·EF-Tu·GTP ternary complex (TC) to the ribosome where it binds to the cognate mRNA codon within the ribosomal A-site, leading to formation of a pretranslocation (PRE) complex. Here we describe preparation of QSY9 and Cy5 derivatives of the variant E348C-EF-Tu that are functional in translation elongation. Together with fluorophore derivatives of aa-tRNA and of ribosomal protein L11, located within the GTPase associated center (GAC), these labeled EF-Tus allow development of two new FRET assays that permit the dynamics of distance changes between EF-Tu and both L11 (Tu-L11 assay) and aa-tRNA (Tu-tRNA assay) to be determined during the decoding process. We use these assays to examine: (i) the relative rates of EF-Tu movement away from the GAC and from aa-tRNA during decoding, (ii) the effects of the misreading-inducing antibiotics streptomycin and paromomycin on tRNA selection at the A-site, and (iii) how strengthening the binding of aa-tRNA to EF-Tu affects the rate of EF-Tu movement away from L11 on the ribosome. These FRET assays have the potential to be adapted for high throughput screening of ribosomal antibiotics.
Project description:Formation of the ternary complex between GTP-bound form of elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu) and aminoacylated transfer RNA (aa-tRNA) is a key event in protein biosynthesis. Here we show that fluorescently modified Escherichia coli EF-Tu carrying three mutations, C137A, C255V and E348C, and fluorescently modified Phe-tRNA(Phe) form functionally active ternary complex that has properties similar to those of the naturally occurring (unmodified) complex. Similarities include the binding and binding rate constants, behavior in gel retardation assay, as well as activities in tRNA protection and in vitro translation assays. Proper labeling of EF-Tu was demonstrated in MALDI mass spectroscopy experiments. To generate the mutant EF-Tu, a series of genetic constructions were performed. Two native cysteine residues in the wild-type EF-Tu at positions 137 and 255 were replaced by Ala and Val, respectively, and an additional cysteine was introduced either in position 324 or 348. The assembly FRET assay showed a 5- to 7-fold increase of Cy5-labeled EF-Tu E348C mutant fluorescence upon formation of ternary complex with charged tRNA(Phe)(Cy3-labeled) when the complex was excited at 532 nm and monitored at 665 nm. In a control experiment, we did not observe FRET using uncharged tRNA(Phe)(Cy3), nor with wild-type EF-Tu preparation that was allowed to react with Cy5 maleimide, nor in the absence of GTP. The results obtained demonstrate that the EF-Tu:tRNA FRET system described can be used for investigations of ribosomal translation in many types of experiments.
Project description:Translocation requires large-scale movements of ribosome-bound tRNAs. Using tRNAs that are proflavin labeled and single-turnover rapid kinetics assays, we identify one or possibly two kinetically competent intermediates in translocation. EF-G.GTP binding to the pretranslocation (PRE) complex and GTP hydrolysis are rapidly followed by formation of the securely identified intermediate complex (INT), which is more slowly converted to the posttranslocation (POST) complex. Peptidyl tRNA within the INT complex occupies a hybrid site, which has a puromycin reactivity intermediate between those of the PRE and POST complexes. Thiostrepton and viomycin inhibit INT formation, whereas spectinomycin selectively inhibits INT disappearance. The effects of other translocation modulators suggest that EF-G-dependent GTP hydrolysis is more important for INT complex formation than for INT complex conversion to POST complex and that subtle changes in tRNA structure influence coupling of tRNA movement to EF-G.GTP-induced conformational changes.
Project description:Typical DNA microarrays utilize diffusion of dye-labeled cDNA probes followed by sequence-specific hybridization to immobilized targets. Here we experimentally estimated the distance typical probes travel during static 16-h hybridizations. Probes labeled with Cy3 and Cy5 were individually introduced to opposite sides of a microarray with minimal convective mixing. Oppositely labeled probes diffused across the initial front separating the two solutions, generating a zone with both dyes present. Diffusion-distance estimates for Cy3- and Cy5-labeled cDNAs were 3.8 mm and 2.6 mm, respectively, despite having almost identical molecular masses. In separate 16-h hybridization experiments with oppositely labeled probes premixed, arrays that were continuously mixed had 15-20% higher signal intensities than arrays hybridized statically. However, no change was observed in the Cy3/Cy5 signal intensity ratio between continuously mixed and static hybridizations. This suggests that the observed dye bias in diffusion-distance estimates results from differences in the detection limits of Cy3 and Cy5-labeled cDNA, a potential concern for array data on low-abundance transcripts. Our conservative diffusion-distance estimates indicate that replicate targets >7.6 mm apart will not compete for scarce probes. Also, raising the microarray gap height would delay the onset of diffusion-limited hybridization by increasing the amount of available probe.
Project description:Metal-enhanced fluorescence (MEF) increased total photon emission of Cy3- and Cy5-labeled ribosomal initiation complexes near 50 nm silver particles 4- and 5.5-fold, respectively. Fluorescence intensity fluctuations above shot noise, at 0.1-5 Hz, were greater on silver particles. Overall signal-to-noise ratio was similar or slightly improved near the particles. Proximity to silver particles did not compromise ribosome function, as measured by codon-dependent binding of fluorescent tRNA, dynamics of fluorescence resonance energy transfer between adjacent tRNAs in the ribosome, and tRNA translocation induced by elongation factor G.
Project description:Cy3 and Cy5 are among the most commonly used oligonucleotide labeling molecules. Studies of nucleic acid structure and dynamics use these dyes, and they are ubiquitous in microarray experiments. They are sensitive to their environment and have higher quantum yield when bound to DNA. The fluorescent intensity of terminal cyanine dyes is also known to be significantly dependent on the base sequence of the oligonucleotide. We have developed a very precise and high-throughput method to evaluate the sequence dependence of oligonucleotide labeling dyes using microarrays and have applied the method to Cy3 and Cy5. We used light-directed in-situ synthesis of terminally-labeled microarrays to determine the fluorescence intensity of each dye on all 1024 possible 5'-labeled 5-mers. Their intensity is sensitive to all five bases. Their fluorescence is higher with 5' guanines, and adenines in subsequent positions. Cytosine suppresses fluorescence. Intensity falls by half over the range of all 5-mers for Cy3, and two-thirds for Cy5. Labeling with 5'-biotin-streptavidin-Cy3/-Cy5 gives a completely different sequence dependence and greatly reduces fluorescence compared with direct terminal labeling.
Project description:The GTPase elongation factor (EF)-G is responsible for promoting the translocation of the messenger RNA-transfer RNA complex on the ribosome, thus opening up the A site for the next aminoacyl-tRNA. Chemical modification and cryo-EM studies have indicated that tRNAs can bind the ribosome in an alternative 'hybrid' state after peptidyl transfer and before translocation, though the relevance of this state during translation elongation has been a subject of debate. Here, using pre-steady-state kinetic approaches and mutant analysis, we show that translocation by EF-G is most efficient when tRNAs are bound in a hybrid state, supporting the argument that this state is an authentic intermediate during translation.
Project description:We study the effect of dye-dye interactions in labeled double-stranded DNA molecules on the Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) efficiency at the single-molecule level. An extensive analysis of internally labeled double-stranded DNA molecules in bulk and at the single-molecule level reveals that donor-acceptor absolute distances can be reliably extracted down to approximately 3-nm separation, provided that dye-dye quenching is accounted for. At these short separations, we find significant long-lived fluorescence fluctuations among discrete levels originating from the simultaneous and synchronous quenching of both dyes. By comparing four different donor-acceptor dye pairs (TMR-ATTO647N, Cy3-ATTO647N, TMR-Cy5, and Cy3-Cy5), we find that this phenomenon depends on the nature of the dye pair used, with the cyanine pair Cy3-Cy5 showing the least amount of fluctuations. The significance of these results is twofold: First, they illustrate that when dye-dye quenching is accounted for, single-molecule FRET can be used to accurately measure inter-dye distances, even at short separations. Second, these results are useful when deciding which dye pairs to use for nucleic acids analyses using FRET.