Fidelity at the molecular level: lessons from protein synthesis

Cell. 2009 Feb 20;136(4):746-62. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.01.036.


The faithful and rapid translation of genetic information into peptide sequences is an indispensable property of the ribosome. The mechanistic understanding of strategies used by the ribosome to achieve both speed and fidelity during translation results from nearly a half century of biochemical and structural studies. Emerging from these studies is the common theme that the ribosome uses local as well as remote conformational switches to govern induced-fit mechanisms that ensure accuracy in codon recognition during both tRNA selection and translation termination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Codon / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • RNA, Bacterial / metabolism
  • RNA, Transfer / genetics
  • RNA, Transfer / metabolism
  • Ribosomes / genetics
  • Ribosomes / metabolism


  • Codon
  • RNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Transfer