Studying Parasite Gene Function and Interaction Through Ribozymes and Riboswitches Design Mechanism

  • Harish Shukla
  • Timir TripathiEmail author


Riboswitches are short mRNA sequences that can change their structural conformation to regulate the expression of adjacent genes. They regulate various biological processes via utilizing their secondary structure and consist of two distinct regions: (i) an evolutionarily conserved ligand-binding aptamer region and (ii) a variable expression platform regulating the gene expression. Many ligands bind to riboswitches, and its accurate and selective recognition requires a specific architecture that completely matches a given molecule. In general, the ligand-binding site can be found within the adjacent junction or regions; however, certain ligands may interact with the distant riboswitch regions. Gene expressions can be regulated by switching between two alternative RNA conformations; one of these conformations is favored in the presence of bound metabolite, while the other is favored in its absence. Riboswitches can regulate genes via metabolic pathways that are involved in the biosynthesis of vitamins, amino acids, and purines. In the present chapter, we aim to explain the structure, functions, and biological significance of these molecules.


Ribozymes Riboswitches Gene expression Structure Function 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Molecular and Structural Biophysics Laboratory, Department of BiochemistryNorth-Eastern Hill UniversityShillongIndia

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