Peptide-chain elongation in eukaryotes

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The elongation phase of translation leads to the decoding of the mRNA and the synthesis of the corresponding polypeptide chain. In most eukaryotes, two distinct protein elongation factors (eEF-1 and eEF-2) are required for elongation. Each is active as a complex with GTP. eEF-1 is a multimer and mediates the binding of the cognate aminoacyl-tRNA to the ribosome, while eEF-2, a monomer, catalyses the movement of the ribosome relative to the mRNA. Recent work showing that bacterial ribosomes possess three sites for tRNA binding and that during elongation tRNAs may occupy 'hybrid' sites is incorporated into a model of eukaryotic elongation. In fungi, elongation also requires a third factor, eEF-3. A number of mechanisms exist to promote the accuracy or 'fidelity' of elongation: eEF-3 may play a role here. cDNAs for this and the other elongation factors have been cloned and sequenced, and the structural and functional properties of the elongation factors are discussed. eEF-1 and eEF-2 can be regulated by phosphorylation, and this may serve to control rates of elongation in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-170
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Biology Reports
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 May 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • GTP
  • elongation
  • mRNA
  • protein phosphorylation
  • protein synthesis
  • translation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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