During termination of translation, the nascent peptide is first released from the ribosome, which must be subsequently disassembled into subunits in a process known as ribosome recycling. In bacteria, termination and recycling are mediated by the translation factors RF, RRF, EF-G, and IF3, but their precise roles have remained unclear. Here, we use single-molecule fluorescence to track the conformation and composition of the ribosome in real time during termination and recycling. Our results show that peptide release by RF induces a rotated ribosomal conformation. RRF binds to this rotated intermediate to form the substrate for EF-G that, in turn, catalyzes GTP-dependent subunit disassembly. After the 50S subunit departs, IF3 releases the deacylated tRNA from the 30S subunit, thus preventing reassembly of the 70S ribosome. Our findings reveal the post-termination rotated state as the crucial intermediate in the transition from termination to recycling. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Journal: Cell reports