* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received July 5, 2020; Revised August 1, 2020; Accepted August 1, 2020
Translational GTPases (trGTPases) belong to the family of G proteins and play key roles at all stages of protein biosynthesis on the ribosome. Unidirectional and cyclic functioning of G proteins is ensured by their ability to switch between the active and inactive states due to GTP hydrolysis accelerated by the auxiliary GTPase-activating proteins. Although trGTPases interact with the ribosomes in different conformational states, they bind to the same conserved region, which, unlike in classical GTPase-activating proteins, is represented by ribosomal RNA. The resulting catalytic sites have almost identical structure in all elongation factors suggesting a common mechanism of GTP hydrolysis. However, fine details of the activated state formation and significantly different rates of GTP hydrolysis indicate the existence of distinctive features upon GTP hydrolysis catalyzed by the different factors. Here, we present a contemporary view on the mechanism of GTPase activation and GTP hydrolysis by the elongation factors EF-Tu, EF-G, and SelB based on the analysis of structural, biochemical, and bioinformatics data.
KEY WORDS: elongation factor, GTP hydrolysis, EF-Tu, EF-G, SelB, translation, ribosome