Expression of the tryptophanase operon of Escherichia coli is regulated by catabolite repression and tryptophan-induced transcription antitermination. An induction site activated by L-tryptophan is created in the translating ribosome during synthesis of TnaC, the 24-residue leader peptide. Replacing the tnaC stop codon with a tryptophan codon allows tryptophan-charged tryptophan transfer RNA to substitute for tryptophan as inducer. This suggests that the ribosomal A site occupied by the tryptophanyl moiety of the charged transfer RNA is the site of induction. The location of tryptophan-12 of nascent TnaC in the peptide exit tunnel was crucial for induction. These results show that a nascent peptide sequence can influence translation continuation and termination within a translating ribosome.
ASJC Scopus subject areas