Send to

Choose Destination
Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2005 Dec;9(6):594-602. Epub 2005 Oct 13.

Riboswitches and the role of noncoding RNAs in bacterial metabolic control.

Author information

Department of Biochemistry, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75390-9038, USA.


Microorganisms use a plethora of genetic strategies to regulate expression of their genes. In recent years there has been an increase in the discovery and characterization of riboswitches, cis-acting regulatory RNAs that function as direct receptors for intracellular metabolites. Nine classes have been uncovered that together regulate many essential biochemical pathways. Two classes, responding to either glucosamine-6-phosphate (GlcN6P) or glycine, have been found to employ novel mechanisms of genetic control. Additionally, progress has been achieved in elucidating molecular details for regulation by the other riboswitches, via X-ray crystallography and biochemical analyses of riboswitch-metabolite interactions. The complete repertoire of metabolite-sensing RNAs and extent of their usage in modern organisms remains to be determined; however, these current data assist in establishing a foundation from which to build future expectations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center