Demonstration of Translation Elongation Factor 3 Activity From a Non-Fungal Species, Phytophthora infestans

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Plos One

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In most eukaryotic organisms, translation elongation requires two highly conserved elongation factors eEF1A and eEF2. Fungal systems are unique in requiring a third factor, the eukaryotic Elongation Factor 3 (eEF3). For decades, eEF3, a ribosome-dependent ATPase, was considered “fungal-specific”, however, recent bioinformatics analysis indicates it may be more widely distributed among other unicellular eukaryotes. In order to determine whether divergent eEF3-like proteins from other eukaryotic organisms can provide the essential functions of eEF3 in budding yeast, the eEF3-like proteins from Schizosaccharomyes pombe and an oomycete, Phytophthora infestans, were cloned and expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Plasmid shuffling experiments showed that both S. pombe and P. infestans eEF3 can support the growth of S. cerevisiae in the absence of endogenous budding yeast eEF3. Consistent with its ability to provide the essential functions of eEF3, P. infestans eEF3 possessed ribosome-dependent ATPase activity. Yeast cells expressing P. infestans eEF3 displayed reduced protein synthesis due to defects in translation elongation/termination. Identification of eEF3 in divergent species will advance understanding of its function and the ribosome specific determinants that lead to its requirement as well as contribute to the identification of functional domains of eEF3 for potential drug discovery.


This article was originally published as Mateyak, M., Pupek, J., Garino, A., Knapp, M., Colmer, S., Kinzy, T.G., and Dunaway, S. (2018) Demonstration of translation elongation factor 3 activity from a non-fungal species, Phytophthora infestans PlosOne Jan 4;13(1):e0190524 PMC5754060