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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Genetic Improvement of Hard Winter Wheat to Biotic and Abiotic Stresses

Location: Hard Winter Wheat Genetics Research Unit

Title: Protein synthesis alongation factors EF-Tu and eEF1A: biosynthesis, functions and application in the improvement of heat tolerance in plants

Authors
item Momcilovic, Ivana -
item Fu, Jianming

Submitted to: New Research on Protein Synthesis
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: June 16, 2013
Publication Date: December 10, 2013
Citation: Momcilovic, I., Fu, J. 2013. Protein synthesis alongation factors EF-Tu and eEF1A: biosynthesis, functions and application in the improvement of heat tolerance in plants. In: Bethaz, C., Puma, V.L., editors. New Research on Protein Synthesis. New York, NY: Nova Science Publishers. p. 1-49.

Interpretive Summary: Protein synthesis elongation factors EF-Tu and eEF1A (EFs) represent a group of highly conserved and abundant GTPases with an important role in transporting the aminoacyl-tRNA complex to the A site of the ribosome during elongation phase of translation. EF-Tu proteins are located in bacteria and, due to ancient endosymbiotic events, in eukaryotic plastids and mitochondria. eEF1A proteins are the counterparts of EF-Tu found in the cytosol of eukaryotic cells. In addition to its canonical role in protein synthesis, a plethora of activities have been attributed to EFs. Both EF-Tu and eEF1A possess chaperone activity in preventing protein aggregation, interact with misfolded newly synthesized polypeptides and possibly direct them to proteasomes, and participate in viral replication. There is growing evidence that up-regulation of protein synthesis elongation factor genes by abiotic stresses may play important roles in stress responses in plants. This chapter summarizes the current knowledge of the regulation of protein synthesis elongation factor expression and their multiple roles from bacteria to plants and mammals. Modulated expression of EF-Tu and eEF1A for crop improvement for heat stress tolerance is also reviewed and discussed.

Technical Abstract: Protein synthesis elongation factors EF-Tu and eEF1A (EFs) represent a group of highly conserved and abundant GTPases with an important role in transporting the aminoacyl-tRNA complex to the A site of the ribosome during elongation phase of translation. EF-Tu proteins are located in bacteria and, due to ancient endosymbiotic events, in eukaryotic plastids and mitochondria. eEF1A proteins are the counterparts of EF-Tu found in the cytosol of eukaryotic cells. In addition to its canonical role in protein synthesis, a plethora of activities have been attributed to EFs. Both EF-Tu and eEF1A possess chaperone activity in preventing protein aggregation, interact with misfolded newly synthesized polypeptides and possibly direct them to proteasome, and participate in viral replication. eEF1A is also implicated in the nuclear export of aa-tRNA, organization of cytoskeleton and apoptosis, while EF-Tu of bacterial pathogens elicits plant innate immunity. EFs are encoded by multigene families. Being the part of house-keeping machinery, EFs presence is required in living cells. Besides, expression of EF-Tu and eEF1A genes might be modulated by developmental and environmental clues. There is growing evidence that up-regulation of protein synthesis elongation factor genes by abiotic stresses may play important roles in stress responses in plants. Some of the non-canonical EFs activities, such as chaperone activity in preventing protein aggregation, might be important in developing organismal stress tolerance. This chapter summarizes the current knowledge of the regulation of protein synthesis elongation factor expression and their multiple roles from bacteria to plants and mammals. Modulated expression of EF-Tu and eEF1A in the crop improvement for heat stress tolerance is also reviewed and discussed.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014
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