Publication – Schwalbe

Multiple conformational states of riboswitches fine-tune gene regulation.

Fürtig B, Nozinovic S, Reining A, Schwalbe H. Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2015 Feb. Abstract or full publication here.

Riboswitches are structured regions of mRNAs that modulate gene expression in response to specific binding of low molecular-weight ligands. They function by induced transitions between different functional conformations. The standard model assumed that the two functional states, the ligand-bound and ligand-free state, populated only two stable conformations. Recent discoveries of multiple conformations for the apo-state and holo-state of riboswitches challenge this model. Moreover, it becomes evident that detected conformational heterogeneity-mostly in the apo-state-provides sensitivity to multiple environmental inputs for riboswitch-based gene-regulation.