Moonlighting functions of polypeptide elongation factor 1: from actin bundling to zinc finger protein R1-associated nuclear localization

Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2002 Jan;66(1):1-21. doi: 10.1271/bbb.66.1.


Eukaryotic polypeptide elongation factor EF-1 is not only a major translational factor, but also one of the most important multifunctional (moonlighting) proteins. EF-1 consists of four different subunits collectively termed EF-1alphabeta beta'gamma and EF-1alphabeta gammadelta in plants and animals, respectively. EF-1alpha x GTP catalyzes the binding of aminoacyl-tRNA to the A-site of the ribosome. EF-1beta beta'gamma (EF-1beta and EF-1beta'), catalyzes GDP/GTP exchange on EF-1alpha x GDP to regenerate EF-1alpha x GTP. EF-1gamma has recently been shown to have glutathione S-transferase activity. EF-2 catalyzes the translocation of peptidyl-tRNA from the A-site to the P-site on the ribosome. Recently, molecular mimicry among tRNA, elongation factors, releasing factor (RF), and ribosome recycling factor (RRF) has been demonstrated and greatly improved our understanding of the mechanism of translation. Moreover, eukaryotic elongation factors have been shown to be concerned or likely to be concerned in various important cellular processes or serious diseases, including translational control, signal transduction, cytoskeletal organization, apoptosis, adult atopic dermatitis, oncogenic transformation, nutrition, and nuclear processes such as RNA synthesis and mitosis. This article aims to overview the recent advances in protein biosynthesis, concentrating on the moonlighting functions of EF-1.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cold Temperature
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases
  • Cytoskeleton
  • HIV-1
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human
  • Humans
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Molecular Mimicry
  • Multienzyme Complexes
  • Peptide Elongation Factor 1 / genetics
  • Peptide Elongation Factor 1 / metabolism*
  • Peptide Elongation Factor 1 / physiology
  • Peptides
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Protein Disulfide-Isomerases / metabolism
  • Selenocysteine / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • West Nile virus
  • Zinc Fingers*


  • Actins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Multienzyme Complexes
  • Peptide Elongation Factor 1
  • Peptides
  • ZPR1 protein, human
  • Selenocysteine
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex
  • Protein Disulfide-Isomerases