Engaging the ribosome: universal IFs of translation. Academic Article uri icon


  • Eukaryotic initiation factor 1A (eIF1A) and the GTPase IF2/eIF5B are the only universally conserved translation initiation factors. Recent structural, biochemical and genetic data indicate that these two factors form an evolutionarily conserved structural and functional unit in translation initiation. Based on insights gathered from studies of the translation elongation factor GTPases, we propose that these factors occupy the aminoacyl-tRNA site (A site) on the ribosome, and promote initiator tRNA binding and ribosomal subunit joining. These processes yield a translationally competent ribosome with Met-tRNA in the ribosomal peptidyl-tRNA site (P site), base-paired to the AUG start codon of a mRNA.

publication date

  • December 2001