Send to

Choose Destination
J Appl Genet. 2016 Nov;57(4):531-541. Epub 2016 Mar 28.

Emerging applications of riboswitches - from antibacterial targets to molecular tools.

Author information

Department of RNA Biology, Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, Z. Noskowskiego 12/14, 61-704, Poznań, Poland.
Department of Computational Biology, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Umultowska 89, 61-614, Poznań, Poland.


The ability to precisely regulate gene expression is one of the most important features of the living cells as it enables the adaptation and survival in different environmental conditions. The majority of regulatory mechanisms involve protein action, however, multiple genes are controlled by nucleic acids. Among RNA-based regulators, the riboswitches present a large group of specific domains within messenger RNAs able to respond to small metabolites, tRNA, secondary messengers, ions, vitamins or amino acids. A simple, accurate, and efficient mechanism of action as well as easiness in handling and engineering make the riboswitches a potent practical tool in industry, medicine, pharmacy or environmental protection. Hereby, we summarize the current achievements and challenges in designing and practical employment of the riboswitch-based tools.


Aptamer; Aptazyme; Biosensor; Gene expression regulation; Riboselector; Riboswitch

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center