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Genes encoding two proteins corresponding to elongation factor G (EF-G) were cloned from Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The proteins encoded by these genes are both members of the EFG I subfamily. The gene encoding one of the forms of EF-G is located in the str operon and the resulting protein is referred to as EF-G1A while the gene encoding the other form of EF-G is located in another part of the genome and the resulting protein is referred to as EF-G1B. These proteins were expressed and purified to 98% homogeneity. Sequence analysis indicated the two proteins are 90/84% similar/identical. In other organisms containing multiple forms of EF-G a lower degree of similarity is seen. When assayed in a poly(U)-directed poly-phenylalanine translation system, EF-G1B was 75-fold more active than EF-G1A. EF-G1A pre-incubate with ribosomes in the presence of the ribosome recycling factor (RRF) decreased polymerization of poly-phenylalanine upon addition of EF-G1B in poly(U)-directed translation suggesting a role for EF-G1A in uncoupling of the ribosome into its constituent subunits. Both forms of P. aeruginosa EF-G were active in ribosome dependent GTPase activity. The kinetic parameters (KM) for the interaction of EF-G1A and EF-G1B with GTP were 85 and 70 μM, respectively. However, EF-G1B exhibited a 5-fold greater turnover number (observed kcat) for the hydrolysis of GTP than EF-G1A; 0.2 s-1 vs. 0.04 s-1. These values resulted in specificity constants (kcatobs/KM) for EF-G1A and EF-G1B of 0.5 x 103 s-1 M-1 and 3.0 x 103 s-1 M-1, respectively. The antibiotic fusidic acid (FA) completely inhibited poly(U)-dependent protein synthesis containing P. aeruginosa EF-G1B, but the same protein synthesis system containing EF-G1A was not affected. Likewise, the activity of EF-G1B in ribosome dependent GTPase assays was completely inhibited by FA, while the activity of EF-G1A was not affected.


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