Indexed on: 01 Feb '17Published on: 01 Feb '17Published in: Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences
A high-resolution structure of the eukaryotic ribosome has been determined and has led to increased interest in studying protein biosynthesis and regulation of biosynthesis in cells. The functional complexes of the ribosome crystals obtained from bacteria and yeast have permitted researchers to identify the precise residue positions in different states of ribosome function. This knowledge, together with electron microscopy studies, enhances our understanding of how basic ribosome processes, including mRNA decoding, peptide bond formation, mRNA, and tRNA translocation and cotranslational transport of the nascent peptide, are regulated. In this review, we discuss the crystal structure of the entire 80S ribosome from yeast, which reveals its eukaryotic-specific features, and application of X-ray crystallography of the 80S ribosome for investigation of the binding mode for distinct compounds known to inhibit or modulate the protein-translation function of the ribosome. We also refer to a challenging aspect of the structural study of ribosomes, from higher eukaryotes, where the structures of major distinctive features of higher eukaryote ribosome-the high-eukaryote-specific long ribosomal RNA segments (about 1MDa)-remain unresolved. Presently, the structures of the major part of these high-eukaryotic expansion ribosomal RNA segments still remain unresolved.This article is part of the themed issue 'Perspectives on the ribosome'.