EIF2S1 is one subunit of the translation initiation factor EIF2, which catalyzes the first regulated step of protein synthesis initiation, promoting the binding of the initiator tRNA to 40S ribosomal subunits. This complex binds to a 40S ribosomal subunit, followed by mRNA binding to form a 43S preinitiation complex. Junction of the 60S ribosomal subunit to form the 80S initiation complex is preceded by hydrolysis of the GTP bound to eIF-2 and release of an eIF-2-GDP binary complex. In order for eIF-2 to recycle and catalyze another round of initiation, the GDP bound to eIF-2 must exchange with GTP by way of a reaction catalyzed by eIF-2B.
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