The Elongation Factor EF-Tu FROM E. Coli Activates The tRNA-Tufb Operon in Trans by Binding To A Cis-Acting Region Upstream of The Promoter

  • E. Vijgenboom
  • L. Nilsson
  • A. Talens
  • L. Bosch


A highly representative member of the group of guanine nucleotide binding proteins is the polypeptide chain elongation factor Tu of E. coli (EF-Tu). This translational factor is a multifunctional protein able to bind, beside GDP and GTP, a relatively large number of ligands, such as tRNA, ribosomes, the elongation factor EF-Ts and antibiotics like kirromycin and pulvomycin. EF-Tu is also involved in the replication of RNA phages as one of the host donated subunits of the viral RNA replicase (Miller et al., 1977; Bosch et al., 1983; Bosch et al., 1986). EF-Tu therefore is an attractive object for studies of the relationship between structure and function. Considerable progress has been made with the elucidation of the three-dimensional structure of EF-Tu as is reported elsewhere in this volume (Jurnak et al., 1989; Nyborg et al., 1989). Genetic studies revealed that EF-Tu is encoded by two genes: tufA and tufB, located some 660 kbp apart on the E. coli chromosome (Jaskunas et al., 1975). The two genes have been cloned and sequenced (An and Friesen, 1980; Yokota et al., 1980; Hudson et al., 1981) so that a firm experimental basis has been laid for structure/function studies. They are part of two operons quite different in character (compare Fig. 1).


Elongation Factor Guanine Nucleotide Binding Protein Polypeptide Synthesis Selective Inactivation Strain PM816 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. An, B., and Friesen, J. D., 1980, The nucleotide sequence of tufB and four nearby tRNA structural genes of Escherichia coli, Gene, 12:33.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arai, K., Clark, B. F. C., Duffy, L., Jones, M. D., Kaziro, Y., Laursen, R. A., L’Italien, J., Miller, D. L., Nagarkatti, S., Nakamura, S., Nielsen, K. M., Petersen, T. E., Takahashi, K., and Wade, M., 1980, Primary structure of elongation factor Tu from Escherichia coli. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 77:1326.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bauer, B. F., Kar, E. G., Elford, R. M., and Holmes, W. M., 1988, Sequence determinants for promoter strength in the leuV operon of Escherichia coli, Gene, 63:123.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bosch, L., Kraal, B., Van Noort, J. M., Vijgenboom, E., Van Delft, J. H. M., and Talens, A., 1986, Novel functions of EF-Tu during polypeptide synthesis and tuf gene expression, in: Hardesty, B. and Kramer, G. (Eds.), Structure, Function and Genetics of Ribosomes, Springer-Verlag, p. 658.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bosch, L., Kraal, B., Van der Meide, P. H., Duisterwinkel, F. J., and Van Noort, J. M., 1983, The elongation factor EF-Tu and its two encoding genes, in: Cohn, W.E. and Moldave, K. (Ed.), Progress in Nucleic Acids Research and Molecular Biology, Acad. Press, Vol. 30, p. 91.Google Scholar
  6. Duisterwinkel, F. J., de Graaf, J. M., Kraal, B., and Bosch, L., 1981, A kirromycin resistant elongation factor EF-Tu from Escherichia coli contains a threonine instead of an alanine residue in position 375, FEBS Lett., 3:130.Google Scholar
  7. Fisher, E., Wolf, H., Hantke, K., and Parmeggiani, A., 1977, Elongation factor Tu resistant to kirromycin in an Escherichia coli mutant altered in both tuf genes, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 74:4341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gourse, R. L., de Boer, H. A., and Nomura, M., 1986, DNA determinants of rRNA synthesis in E. coli: Growth rate dependent regulation feedback inhibition, upstream activation, antitermination, Cell, 44:197.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hudson, L., Rossi, J., and Landy, A., 1981, Dual function transcripts specifying tRNA and mRNA, Nature, 294:422.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jaskunas, S. R., Lindahl, L., Nomura, M., and Burgess, R. R., 1975, Identification of two copies of the gene for the elongation factor EF-Tu in E. coli, Nature, 257:458.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jurnak, F., Nelson, M., Yoder, M., Heffron, S., and Miu, S., 1989, Progress on the three-dimensional structural determination of trypsin-modified EF-Tu-GDP, this book.Google Scholar
  12. Lamond, A. J., and Travers, A. A., 1983, Requirement for an upstream element for optimal transcription of a bacterial tRNA gene, Nature, 305:248.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Miller, D. L., and Weissbach, H., 1977, Aminoacyl-tRNA transfer factors, in: Weissbach, H. and Pestka, S., Molecular Mechanisms of Protein Biosynthesis, Acad. Press., p. 324.Google Scholar
  14. Nyborg, J., La Cour, T., Kjelgaard, M., Thirup, S., Jensen, M., and Clark, B. F. C., 1989, New structural data on elongation factor-Tu: GDP based on X-ray crystallography, this book.Google Scholar
  15. Parmeggiani, A., and Sander, G., 1980, in: Topics of Antibiotic Chemistry, 5:165.Google Scholar
  16. Van Delft, J. H. M., Marinon, B., Schmidt, D. S., and Bosch, L., 1987a, Transcription of the tRNA-tufB operon of E. coli: activation, termination and antitermination, Nucl. Acids Res., 15:9515.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Van Delft, J. H. M., Schmidt, D. S., and Bosch, L., 1987b, The tRNA-tufB operon. Transcription termination and processing upstream from tufB, J. Mol. Biol., 197:647.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Van Delft, J. H. M., Verbeek, H. M., de Jong, P. J., Schmidt, D. S., Talens, A., and Bosch, L., 1988a, Control of the tRNA-tufB operon in Escherichia coli. 1. rRNA gene dosage effects and growth-rate dependent regulation, Eur. J. Biochem., 175:355.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Van Delft, J. H. M., Talens, A., de Jong, P. J., Schmidt, D. S. and, Bosch, L., 1988b, Control of the tRNA-tufB operon in Escherichia coli. 2. Mechanisms of the feedback inhibition of tufB expression studied in vivo and in vitro, Eur. J. Biochem., 175:363.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Van Delft, J. H. M., and Bosch, L., 1988, Control of the tRNA-tufB operon in Escherichia coli. 3. Feedback inhibition of tufB expression by an EF-Tu with a deletion in the guanine-nucleotide-binding domain, Eur. J. Biochem., 175:375.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Van de Klundert, J. A. M., Van der Meide, P. H., Van de Putte, P., and Bosch, L., 1978, Mutants of Escherichia coli altered in both genes coding for the elongation factor Tu, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 75:4470.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Van der Meide, P. H., Vijgenboom, E., Dicke, M., and Bosch, L., 1982, Regulation of the expression of tufA and tufB, the two genes coding for the elongation factor EF-Tu in E. coli, FEBS Lett., 139:325.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Van der Meide, P. H., Vijgenboom, E., Talens, A., and Bosch, L., 1983a, The role of EF-Tu in the expression of tufA and tufB genes, Eur. J. Biochem., 130:397.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Van der Meide, P. H., Kastelein, R. A., Vijgenboom, E., and Bosch, L., 1983b, Tuf gene dosage effects on the intracellular concentration of EF-TuB, Eur. J. Biochem., 130:409.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Vijgenboom, E., and Bosch, L., 1987, Transfer of plasmid-borne tuf mutations to the chromosome as a genetic tool for studying the function of EF-TuA and EF-TuB in the E. coli cell, Biochimie, 69:1021.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Vijgenboom, E., Nilsson, L. and Bosch, L., 1988, The elongation factor EF-Tu from E. coli binds to the upstream activator region of the tRNA-tufB operon, Nucl. Acids Res., 16, in press.Google Scholar
  27. Wolf, H., Chinali, G., and Parmeggiani, A., 1974, Kirromycin, an inhibitor of protein biosynthesis that acts on elongation factor Tu, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 71:4910.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Yokota, T., Sugisaki, H., Takanami, M., and Kaziro, Y., 1980, The nucleotide sequence of the cloned tufA gene of Escherichia coli, Gene, 12:25.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Vijgenboom
    • 1
  • L. Nilsson
    • 1
  • A. Talens
    • 1
  • L. Bosch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryLeiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations