Translational GTPases (trGTPases) are involved in all four stages of protein biosynthesis: initiation, elongation, termination and ribosome recycling. The trGTPases Initiation Factor 2 (IF2) and Elongation Factor G (EF-G) respectively orchestrate initiation complex formation and translocation of the peptidyl-tRNA:mRNA complex through the bacterial ribosome. The ribosome regulates the GTPase cycle and efficiently discriminates between the GDP- and GTP-bound forms of these proteins. Using Isothermal Titration Calorimetry, we have investigated interactions of IF2 and EF-G with the sarcin-ricin loop of the 23S rRNA, a crucial element of the GTPase-associated center of the ribosome. We show that binding of IF2 and EF-G to a 27 nucleotide RNA fragment mimicking the sarcin-ricin loop is mutually exclusive with that of GDP, but not of GTP, providing a mechanism for destabilization of the ribosome-bound GDP forms of translational GTPases.