Reconstitution of Qbeta RNA replicase from a covalently bonded elongation factor Tu-Ts complex

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Stanley Brown, Thomas Blumenthal

Escherichia coli phage Qbeta RNA replicase, an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RNA-dependent RNA nucleotidyltransferase), is a tetramer composed of one phage-coded polypeptide and three host-supplied polypeptides which are known to function in the biosynthesis of proteins in the uninfected host. Two of these polypeptides, protein synthesis elongation factors EF-Tu and EF-Ts, can be covalently crosslinked with dimethyl suberimidate to form a complex which lacks the ability to catalyze the known host functions catalyzed by the individual elongation factors. Using a previously developed reconstitution system we have examined the effects of crosslinking the EF-Tu-Ts complex on reconstituted replicase activity. Renaturation is significantly more efficient when exogenously added native EF-Tu-Ts is crosslinked than when it is not. Crosslinked EF-Tu-Ts can be purified from a crude crosslinked postribosomal supernatant by its ability to replace EF-Tu and EF-Ts in the renaturation of denatured Qbeta replicase. A sample of Qbeta replicase with crosslinked EF-Tu-Ts replacing the individual elongation factors was prepared. Although it lacked EF-Tu and EF-Ts activities, it could initiate transcription of both poly(C) and Qbeta RNA normally and had approximately the same specific activity as control enzyme. Denatured Qbeta replicase formed with crosslinked EF-Tu-Ts was found to renature much more rapidly than untreated enzyme and, in contrast to normal replicase, its renaturation was not inhibited by GDP. The results demonstrate that EF-Tu and EF-Ts function as complex in Qbeta replicase and do not perform their known protein biosynthetic function in the RNA synthetic reaction.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1131-1135
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 1976
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Keywords: Chemical Phenomena; Chemistry; Coliphages; Peptide Elongation Factors; Protein Conformation; Q beta Replicase; RNA Nucleotidyltransferases; RNA, Viral; Structure-Activity Relationship

ID: 9298287