The high-resolution structure of the eukaryotic ribosome from yeast, determined at 3.0-Å resolution, permitted the unambiguous determination of the protein side chains, eukaryote-specific proteins, protein insertions, and ribosomal RNA expansion segments of the 80 proteins and ∼5,500 RNA bases that constitute the 80S ribosome. A comparison between this first atomic model of the entire 80S eukaryotic ribosome and previously determined structures of bacterial ribosomes confirmed early genetic and structural data indicating that they share an evolutionarily conserved core of ribosomal RNA and proteins. It also confirmed the conserved organization of essential functional sites, such as the peptidyl transferase center and the decoding site. New structural information about eukaryote-specific elements, such as expansion segments and new ribosomal proteins, forms the structural framework for the design and analysis of experiments that will explore the eukaryotic translational apparatus and the evolutionary forces that shaped it. New nomenclature for ribosomal proteins, based on the names of protein families, has been proposed.
Keywords: RNA; core; crystallography; expansion segment; protein; yeast.