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Bacterial elongation factor P (EF-P) plays a pivotal role in the translation of polyproline motifs. To stimulate peptide bond formation, EF-P must enter the ribosome via an empty E-site. Using fluorescence-based single-molecule tracking, Mohapatra et al. (S. Mohapatra, H. Choi, X. Ge, S. Sanyal, and J. C. Weisshaar, mBio 8:e00300-17, 2017, ) monitored the cellular distribution of EF-P and quantified the frequency of association between EF-P and the ribosome under various conditions. Findings from the study showed that EF-P has a localization pattern that is strikingly similar to that of ribosomes. Intriguingly, EF-P was seen to bind ribosomes more frequently than the estimated number of pausing events, indicating that E-site vacancies occur even when ribosomes are not paused. The study provides new insights into the mechanism of EF-P-dependent peptide bond formation and the intricacies of translation elongation.


This article was originally published in mBio, volume 8, in 2017.


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