Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nucleic Acids Res. 2008 Nov;36(19):e124. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkn545. Epub 2008 Aug 27.

Design of simple synthetic RNA thermometers for temperature-controlled gene expression in Escherichia coli.

Author information

  • 1Max-Planck-Institut für Molekulare Pflanzenphysiologie, Am Mühlenberg 1, D-14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany.


RNA thermometers are thermosensors that regulate gene expression by temperature-induced changes in RNA conformation. Naturally occurring RNA thermometers exhibit complex secondary structures which are believed to undergo a series of gradual structural changes in response to temperature shifts. Here, we report the de novo design of considerably simpler RNA thermometers that provide useful RNA-only tools to regulate bacterial gene expression by a shift in the growth temperature. We show that a single small stem-loop structure containing the ribosome binding site is sufficient to construct synthetic RNA thermometers that work efficiently at physiological temperatures. Our data suggest that the thermometers function by a simple melting mechanism and thus provide minimum size on/off switches to experimentally induce or repress gene expression by temperature.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk