Structure, function and drug targeting: ribosome expansion segments
Gomez Ramos, Lizzette M.
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Divergence among ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs) is focused on Expansion Segments (ESs). Eukaryotic ribosomes are significantly larger than prokaryotic ribosomes in part because of their ESs. To determine ES functions, protein binding partners of ESs in several eukaryotic systems have been determined. One of the goals is to develop targets for small molecule inhibitors of ribosomal function; currently many antibiotics exert their effects by interacting with rRNAs. Numerous regions within the ribosome, including ESs, remain un-explored as drug targets. ESs were screened for selective small molecule binding or distinctive protein interaction patterns that could be potentially disrupted. Strong interactions between small molecules and ribosomal RNA most likely will perturb ribosomal function and inhibit pathogenic protein synthesis.