Moran Shalev Ben-Ami 1 Yan Zhang 3 Donna Matzov 1 Yehuda Halfon 1 Haim Rozenberg 1 Anat Bashan 1 Ella Zimmerman 1 Charles Jaffe 2 Georgios Skiniotis 3 Ada Yonath 1
1Structural Biology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
2Hadassa Medical School, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
3Life Science Institute, University of Michigan, Ann-Arbor, Michigan, USA

Ribosomes are giant ribonucleoprotein machineries residing within all living cells that translate the genetic code unto proteins, thus play an important role in cellular maintenance and viability. The key function and abundance of these machineries make them an effective target for various therapeutic approaches. Over the past decades, thorough structural and biochemical investigations of bacterial ribosomes revealed some fascinating aspects of the prokaryotic translation apparatus as well as the various mechanisms by which antibacterial drugs target the ribosome. Nevertheless, due to the more complex and variable nature of the eukaryotic ribosome, the molecular details underlying its unique characteristics remain largely obscure. The recent technological progress in high resolution structure determination by single particle cryo-EM has opened new opportunities in the field of ribosome research. Using this technology in our recent structural investigations of eukaryotic ribosomes has enabled us to create a sub-atomic level structure which highlights several differential characteristics of highly distinct eukaryotic species. This structure and its resulting insights may be useful not only in shedding light on the underlying mechanisms of eukaryotic translation but also could be of great importance in development of specific selective therapeutics.

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