The integral structural parameters and the shape of the molecule of human translation termination factor eRF1 were determined from the small-angle X-ray scattering in solution. The molecular shapes were found by bead modeling with nonlinear minimization of the root-mean-square deviation of the calculated from the experimental scattering curve. Comparisons of the small-angle scattering curves computed for atomic-resolution structures of eRF1 with the experimental data on scattering from solution testified that the crystal and the solution conformations are close. In the ribosome, the distance between the eRF1 motifs GGQ and NIKS must be shorter than in crystal or solution (75 versus 107-112 A). Therefore, like its bacterial counterpart RF2, the eukaryotic eRF1 must change its conformation as it binds to the ribosome. The conformational mobility of eukaryotic and prokaryotic class-1 release factors is another feature making them functionally akin to tRNA.