University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Plant Sciences Departmental Seminars > Discovery and analysis of novel riboswitches

Discovery and analysis of novel riboswitches

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Riboswitches are structured RNAs usually located in the untranslated regions (UTRs) of bacterial mRNAs that bind metabolites and control gene expression. Most riboswitches discovered to date sense fundamental metabolites such as nucleobases and their derivatives, coenzymes, amino acids and modified sugars. Thus, researchers who seek to identify additional riboswitch classes may benefit from searching for structured RNAs associated with the mRNAs encoding metabolic enzymes for key biological compounds. We have recently used a bioinformatics strategy to discover several riboswitch classes that sense coenzymes or their derivatives, and our findings suggest that many more riboswitches remain to be discovered.

Most recently, we have identified the first examples riboswitches that sense a widespread bacterial second messenger. These riboswitches control the expression of numerous genes involved in virulence, biofilm formation, and flagellar biosynthesis. The existence of such riboswitches indicates that bacteria rely on riboswitches to make rapid changes in cellular physiology. Details regarding the discovery and analysis of novel riboswitch classes will be discussed.

http://www.yale.edu/breaker/breaker.htm

This talk is part of the Plant Sciences Departmental Seminars series.

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