Mechanisms of ribosome recycling in bacteria and mitochondria: a structural perspective

Savannah M. Seely, Matthieu G. Gagnon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In all living cells, the ribosome translates the genetic information carried by messenger RNAs (mRNAs) into proteins. The process of ribosome recycling, a key step during protein synthesis that ensures ribosomal subunits remain available for new rounds of translation, has been largely overlooked. Despite being essential to the survival of the cell, several mechanistic aspects of ribosome recycling remain unclear. In eubacteria and mitochondria, recycling of the ribosome into subunits requires the concerted action of the ribosome recycling factor (RRF) and elongation factor G (EF-G). Recently, the conserved protein HflX was identified in bacteria as an alternative factor that recycles the ribosome under stress growth conditions. The homologue of HflX, the GTP-binding protein 6 (GTPBP6), has a dual role in mitochondrial translation by facilitating ribosome recycling and biogenesis. In this review, mechanisms of ribosome recycling in eubacteria and mitochondria are described based on structural studies of ribosome complexes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)662-677
Number of pages16
JournalRNA Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022


  • GTPBP6
  • HflX
  • Ribosome
  • elongation factor G
  • protein synthesis
  • ribosome recycling
  • ribosome recycling factor
  • tRNA
  • translation factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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