Macrolide antibiotic binding to the ribosome inhibits catalysis of peptide bond formation between specific donor and acceptor substrates. Why particular reactions are problematic for the macrolide-bound ribosome remains unclear. Using comprehensive mutational analysis and biochemical experiments with synthetic substrate analogs, we find that the positive charge of these specific residues and the length of their side chains underlie inefficient peptide bond formation in the macrolide-bound ribosome. Even in the absence of antibiotic, peptide bond formation between these particular donors and acceptors is rather inefficient, suggesting that macrolides magnify a problem present for intrinsically difficult substrates. Our findings emphasize the existence of functional interactions between the nascent protein and the catalytic site of the ribosomal peptidyl transferase center.
Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.