Translation initiation factor IF2 contributes to ribosome assembly and maturation during cold adaptation
Cell Transformation, Viral
Receptors, Cell Surface
Cold-stress in Escherichia coli induces de novo synthesis of translation initiation factors IF1, IF2 and IF3 while ribosome synthesis and assembly slow down. Consequently, the IFs/ribosome stoichiometric ratio increases about 3-fold during the first hours of cold adaptation. The IF1 and IF3 increase plays a role in translation regulation at low temperature (cold-shock-induced translational bias) but so far no specific role could be attributed to the extra copies of IF2. In this work, we show that the extra-copies of IF2 made after cold stress are associated with immature ribosomal subunits together with at least another nine proteins involved in assembly and/or maturation of ribosomal subunits. This finding, coupled with evidence that IF2 is endowed with GTPase-associated chaperone activity that promotes refolding of denatured GFP, and the finding that two cold-sensitive IF2 mutations cause the accumulation of immature ribosomal particles, indicate that IF2 is yet another GTPase protein that participates in ribosome assembly/maturation, especially at low temperatures. Overall, these findings are instrumental in redefining the functional role of IF2, which cannot be regarded as being restricted to its well documented functions in translation initiation of bacterial mRNA.