Riboswitches exert genetic control through metabolite-induced conformational change

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

66 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Conserved RNA structures have traditionally been thought of as potential binding sites for protein factors and consequently are regarded as fulfilling relatively passive albeit important roles in cellular processes. With the discovery of riboswitches, RNA no longer takes a backseat to protein when it comes to affecting gene expression. Riboswitches bind directly to cellular metabolites with exceptional specificity and affinity, and exert control over gene expression through ligand-induced conformational changes in RNA structure. Riboswitches now represent a widespread mechanism by which cells monitor their metabolic state and facilely alter gene expression in response to changing conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-349
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Structural Biology
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2004

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Riboswitch
RNA
Gene Expression
Carrier Proteins
Binding Sites
Ligands
Proteins

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Structural Biology

Cite this

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AB - Conserved RNA structures have traditionally been thought of as potential binding sites for protein factors and consequently are regarded as fulfilling relatively passive albeit important roles in cellular processes. With the discovery of riboswitches, RNA no longer takes a backseat to protein when it comes to affecting gene expression. Riboswitches bind directly to cellular metabolites with exceptional specificity and affinity, and exert control over gene expression through ligand-induced conformational changes in RNA structure. Riboswitches now represent a widespread mechanism by which cells monitor their metabolic state and facilely alter gene expression in response to changing conditions.

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