J. K. Wickiser Lab

Riboswitches

Riboswitches are (predominantly) untranslated RNA segments functioning as genetic control elements by binding a target metabolite and controlling the expression of genes associated with the biosynthesis or import of the target metabolite or a closely related molecule. Simply, a riboswitch is a naturally occurring aptamer appended to a gene expression platform affecting transcriptional termination, translation inhibition, mRNA stability, or splicing. While this RNA-based genetic control mechanism was discovered only several years ago, riboswitches are found in all three kingdoms of life and represent a fundamental and energetically conservative form of genetic control.

We are collaborating with the Winkler lab at UTSW on several Bacillus subtilis projects including in vitro characterization of several riboswitches using fluorescence assays and in vivo experiments looking at the expression of several related constructs.

[slidepress gallery='riboswitches']