* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received June 27, 2007; Revision received September 28, 2007
The effects of amino acid replacements in the RNA-binding sites of homologous ribosomal proteins TL5 and L25 (members of the CTC family) on ability of these proteins to form stable complexes with ribosomal 5S RNA were studied. It was shown that even three simultaneous replacements of non-conserved amino acid residues by alanine in the RNA-binding site of TL5 did not result in noticeable decrease in stability of the TL5-5S rRNA complex. However, any replacement among five conserved residues in the RNA-binding site of TL5, as well as of L25 resulted in serious destabilization or complete impossibility of complex formation. These five residues form an RNA-recognition module in TL5 and L25. These residues are strictly conserved in proteins of the CTC family. However, there are several cases of natural replacements of these residues in TL5 and L25 homologs in Bacilli and Cyanobacteria, which are accompanied by certain changes in the CTC-binding site of 5S rRNAs of the corresponding organisms. CTC proteins and specific fragments of 5S rRNA of Enterococcus faecalis and Nostoc sp. were isolated, and their ability to form specific complexes was tested. It was found that these proteins formed specific complexes only with 5S rRNA of the same organism. This is an example of coevolution of the structures of two interacting macromolecules.
KEY WORDS: bacterial 5S rRNA-binding proteins, CTC family proteins, ribosome