We report results on in vitro translation of an mRNA coding for elongation factor TuB which was in vitro transcribed from the tufB gene from Escherichia coli. Translation occurs at a rate of about 10 codons per second, which is close to the in vivo rate. Protein elongation obeys Michaelis-Menten kinetics with respect to the concentrations of the elongation factors EF-Tu and EF-G in the translation system. The measured K(m) values for EF-Tu and EF-G are 10 and 0.25 microM, respectively. The obtained k(cat) and K(m) values were used to estimate the average k(cat)/K(m) of about 24 x 10(6) s-1 M-1 for the interaction of individual EF-Tu*GTP*aa-tRNA complexes with ribosomes. The estimated k(cat)/K(m) value for EF-G is 36 x 10(6) s-1 M-1. We have also studied translation with a "hyperaccurate" ribosome variant that is pseudodependent on streptomycin (SmP). We have found that SmP ribosomes translate the TuB mRNA significantly slower than wild-type ribosomes do. This is mainly due to a threefold lower k(cat)/K(m) for the interaction of EF-Tu*GTP*aa-tRNA complexes with SmP ribosomes.