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  • This picture illustrates that the mutants freeze the ribsosome in a configuration where the switch is frozen in the open position. Ribosomal protein L3 is shown in green.  Its fingers extend downward and toward the left into the catalytic core of the ribosome (red).  The orange arrow shows the path taken by tRNAs as they travel from outside of the ribosome into its core.  Incoming tRNAs must pass through two
    This picture illustrates that the mutants freeze the ribsosome in a configuration where the switch is frozen in the open position. Ribosomal protein L3 is shown in green. Its fingers extend downward and toward the left into the catalytic core of the ribosome (red). The orange arrow shows the path taken by tRNAs as they travel from outside of the ribosome into its core. Incoming tRNAs must pass through two "gates", shown in yellow. Individual bits of RNA are colored blue to indicate that they are more open or accessible to the outside world when the finger structures of L3 are mutated.
  • This picture shows a cartoon of how the switch works.  Left: this configuration of the L3 finger switch places the ribosome in the
    This picture shows a cartoon of how the switch works. Left: this configuration of the L3 finger switch places the ribosome in the "open" position, where it binds the protein that delivers new tRNAs to it (eEF1A-aatRNA-GTP). The tRNAs are then delivered to the ribosomal core in a process called "accommodation". Once there, they participate in the central step of protein synthesis called peptidyltransfer. During this time, the L3 switch moves, closing the ribosome, and forming the binding site for the next player called eEF2-GTP, whose function is to push the ribosome down the mRNA, setting up the next step in the cycle of protein synthesis.




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