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10 Years at GSC (Genomic Sciences Center)

Elucidation of the Conformation of the Protein that Plays an Important Role in the Translation Process of Genes

Protein Research Group has clarified for the first time the conformation of the protein that plays an important role in the translation process of the genes.
Genetic information is stored in DNA in the form of a genetic code. Protein is formed by the combination of amino acids following the sequence decided by the genetic code, and this process is called translation.
  The translation of genetic information is carried out in a gigantic complex called the ribosome that is composed of RNAs and proteins. It has also been clarified that various other and diverse RNAs and proteins called translation factors are involved in this process, but the translation mechanism is so complicated that many aspects of functions and structures of factors involved in translation remain unknown.
  The research group has succeeded for the first time in clarifying the conformation of the protein called the “translation elongation factor P (EF-P),” which is important for life and considered to be an important factor in the translation process of the genetic code, using the large-scale irradiation facility “SPring-8.”
In addition, it has been also clarified that the shape and size of the crystal structure of EF-P are very similar to those of the molecules of nucleic acid called “transfer RNA (tRNA).”
  The research results were published in the online version of the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.”