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"Dynamic activation of RNA functions: Insights into ligand-dependent RNA regulation"

Professor Qi Zhang -Biochemistry and Biophysics - UNC School of Medicine
Friday, September 22, 2017
4:00-5:00 PM
1300 Chemistry Chemistry Dow Lab Map
RNA folds and balances between distinct conformational states for function. Riboswitches, a class of non-coding regulatory RNAs composed of a ligand-sensing domain and an expression platform, are known to control gene expression by folding into alternative conformations upon specific recognition of cellular cues. However, a molecular understanding of the dynamic interplay between the sensing domain and the expression platform that underlies riboswitch regulation remains elusive. Here, by developing and applying nucleic-acid-optimized chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) NMR spectroscopy, together with mutagenesis and functional measurements, we show that conformational kinetics of the riboswitch serves as a new layer of regulation, where ligand-dependent accessibility of a low-populated (~1%) and short-lived (~ 3ms) RNA state guides distinct co-transcriptional folding pathways to direct gene expression outcome. Our results provide an integrated molecular mechanism for transcriptional riboswitches and exemplify a new mode of ligand-dependent RNA regulation.
Building: Chemistry Dow Lab
Event Type: Workshop / Seminar
Tags: Chemistry
Source: Happening @ Michigan from LSA Biophysics