Quantum-mechanical study on the mechanism of peptide bond formation in the ribosome

Carles Acosta-Silva, Joan Bertran, Vicenç Branchadell, Antoni Oliva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Ribosomes transform the genetic information encoded within genes into proteins. In recent years, there has been much progress in the study of this complex molecular machine, but the mechanism of peptide bond formation and the origin of the catalytic power of this ancient enzymatic system are still an unsolved puzzle. A quantum-mechanical study of different possible mechanisms of peptide synthesis in the ribosome has been carried out using the M06-2X density functional. The uncatalyzed processes in solution have been treated with the SMD solvation model. Concerted and two-step mechanisms have been explored. Three main points suggested in this work deserve to be deeply analyzed. First, no zwitterionic intermediates are found when the process takes place in the ribosome. Second, the proton shuttle mechanism is suggested to be efficient only through the participation of the A2451 2′-OH and two crystallographic water molecules. Finally, the mechanisms in solution and in the ribosome are very different, and this difference may help us to understand the origin of the efficient catalytic role played by the ribosome. © 2012 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5817-5831
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2012


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