Natural and artificial ribozymes can catalyse a diverse range of chemical reactions. Through recent efforts in enzyme engineering, it has become possible to tailor the activity of ribozymes to respond allosterically to specific effector compounds. These allosteric ribozymes function as effector-dependent molecular switches that could find application as novel genetic-control elements, biosensor components or precision switches for use in nanotechnology. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd.
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