Study of the structural dynamics of the E coli 70S ribosome using real-space refinement

Cell. 2003 Jun 13;113(6):789-801. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(03)00427-6.


Cryo-EM density maps showing the 70S ribosome of E. coli in two different functional states related by a ratchet-like motion were analyzed using real-space refinement. Comparison of the two resulting atomic models shows that the ribosome changes from a compact structure to a looser one, coupled with the rearrangement of many of the proteins. Furthermore, in contrast to the unchanged inter-subunit bridges formed wholly by RNA, the bridges involving proteins undergo large conformational changes following the ratchet-like motion, suggesting an important role of ribosomal proteins in facilitating the dynamics of translation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry*
  • Bacterial Proteins / ultrastructure
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism*
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Conformation
  • Molecular Weight
  • Protein Biosynthesis / physiology
  • Protein Structure, Quaternary / physiology*
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary / physiology
  • RNA / chemistry*
  • Ribosomal Proteins / chemistry*
  • Ribosomal Proteins / ultrastructure
  • Ribosomes / chemistry*
  • Ribosomes / ultrastructure


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Ribosomal Proteins
  • RNA

Associated data

  • PDB/1P6G
  • PDB/1P85
  • PDB/1P86
  • PDB/1P87