Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Z-RNA–binding domain Zα as ribosomal inhibitor: fishing for ribosomes
Feng at al. in NSMB show that Z-RNA (or DNA) binding domain Zα inhibits ribosomal function. Binds to the ribosome and inhibits it! Basically does what ribosome-binding antibiotics do - they bind, freeze the ribosome in some particular conformation and thus inhibit it. Viomycin can be a gerat example of that.
Better still, Zα seems to bind ribosomes nondiscriminantly (both bacterial and mammalian), so using a column with immobilized Zα you could purify ribosomes from whatever cells you have. Sounds fun, and, as I learned from the PI behind the paper - they are working on it, though this practical application is not mentioned in the original paper.
Feng S, Li H, Zhao J, Pervushin K, Lowenhaupt K, Schwartz TU, & Dröge P (2011). Alternate rRNA secondary structures as regulators of translation. Nature structural & molecular biology PMID: 21217697
Ermolenko DN, Spiegel PC, Majumdar ZK, Hickerson RP, Clegg RM, & Noller HF (2007). The antibiotic viomycin traps the ribosome in an intermediate state of translocation. Nature structural & molecular biology, 14 (6), 493-7 PMID: 17515906