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Translation elongation factor P (EF-P) is critical for virulence in bacteria. EF-P is present in all bacteria and orthologous to archaeal and eukaryotic initiation factor 5A, yet the biological function has so far remained enigmatic. Here, we demonstrate that EF-P is an elongation factor that enhances translation of polyproline-containing proteins: In the absence of EF-P, ribosomes stall at polyproline stretches, whereas the presence of EF-P alleviates the translational stalling. Moreover, we demonstrate the physiological relevance of EF-P to fine-tune the expression of the polyproline-containing pH receptor CadC to levels necessary for an appropriate stress response. Bacterial, archaeal, and eukaryotic cells have hundreds to thousands of polyproline-containing proteins of diverse function, suggesting that EF-P and a/eIF-5A are critical for copy-number adjustment of multiple pathways across all kingdoms of life.


Susanne Ude, Jürgen Lassak, Agata L Starosta, Tobias Kraxenberger, Daniel N Wilson, Kirsten Jung. Translation elongation factor EF-P alleviates ribosome stalling at polyproline stretches. Science (New York, N.Y.). 2013 Jan 4;339(6115):82-5

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PMID: 23239623

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