Mapping the fMet-tRNA(f)(Met) binding site of initiation factor IF2

Marc Guenneugues, Enrico Caserta, Letizia Brandi, Roberto Spurio, Sylvie Meunier, Cynthia L. Pon, Rolf Boelens, Claudio O. Gualerzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The interaction between fMet-tRNA(f)(Met) and Bacillus stearothermophilus translation initiation factor IF2 has been characterized. We demonstrate that essentially all thermodynamic determinants governing the stability and the specificity of this interaction are localized within the acceptor hexanucleotide fMet-3'ACCAAC of the initiator tRNA and a fairly small area at the surface of the β-barrel structure of the 90-amino acid C-terminal domain of IF2 (IF2 C-2). A weak but specific interaction between IF2 C-2 and formyl-methionyl was also demonstrated. The surface of IF2 C-2 interacting with fMet-tRNA(f)(Met) has been mapped using two independent approaches, site-directed mutagenesis and NMR spectroscopy, which yielded consistent results. The binding site comprises C668 and G715 located in a groove accommodating the methionyl side-chain, R700, in the vicinity of the formyl group, Y701 and K702 close to the acyl bond between fMet and tRNA(f)(Met), and the surface lined with residues K702-S660, along which the acceptor arm of the initiator tRNA spans in the direction 3' to 5'.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5233-5240
Number of pages8
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2000


  • NMR spectroscopy
  • Protein-RNA interaction
  • Site-directed mutagenesis
  • Translation initiation
  • article
  • binding site
  • carboxy terminal sequence
  • conformational transition
  • gene mapping
  • Geobacillus stearothermophilus
  • nonhuman
  • nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • priority journal
  • protein analysis
  • protein RNA binding
  • site directed mutagenesis
  • thermodynamics
  • thermostability
  • translation initiation


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