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Riboswitches: Ancient and Promising Genetic Regulators

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

DOI

Author(s)

Simon Blouin, Jerome Mulhbacher, Juan Carlos Penedo-Esteiro, Daniel A. Lafontaine

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Abstract

Newly discovered metabolite-sensing riboswitches, have revealed that cellular process extensively make use of RNA structural modulation to regulate gene expression in response to subtle changes in metabolite concentrations. Riboswitches are involved to various regulation levels of gene expression, such as transcription attenuation, translation initiation, mRNA splicing and mRNA processing. Riboswitches are found in the three kingdoms of life, and in various cases, are involved in the regulation of essential genes, which makes their regulation an essential part of cell survival. Because riboswitches operate without the assistance of accessory proteins, they are believed to be remnants of an ancient time, when gene regulation was strictly based on RNA, from which are left numerous "living molecular fossils", as exemplified by ribozymes, and more spectacularly, by the ribosome. Due to their nature, riboswitches hold high expectations for the manipulation of gene expression and the detection of small metabolites, and also offer an unprecedented potential for the discovery of novel classes of antimicrobial agents.

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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-416
Number of pages17
JournalChemBioChem
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2009

    Research areas

  • antimicrobial agents, gene regulation mechanisms, riboswitches, ribozymes, RNA-ligand interactions, MESSENGER-RNA STRUCTURE, INTRINSIC TRANSCRIPTION TERMINATION, METABOLITE-BINDING RIBOSWITCHES, ADENINE-SENSING RIBOSWITCH, GRAM-POSITIVE BACTERIA, BACILLUS-SUBTILIS, GLMS RIBOZYME, S-ADENOSYLMETHIONINE, COMPARATIVE GENOMICS, STRUCTURAL BASIS

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