Alexander Serganov

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Riboswitches are metabolite-sensing RNAs, typically located in the non-coding portions of messenger RNAs, that control the synthesis of metabolite-related proteins. Here we describe a 2.05 angstroms crystal structure of a riboswitch domain from the Escherichia coli thiM mRNA that responds to the coenzyme thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP). TPP is an active form(More)
Metabolite-sensing mRNAs, or "riboswitches," specifically interact with small ligands and direct expression of the genes involved in their metabolism. Riboswitches contain sensing "aptamer" modules, capable of ligand-induced structural changes, and downstream regions, harboring expression-controlling elements. We report the crystal structures of the add(More)
Although various functions of RNA are carried out in conjunction with proteins, some catalytic RNAs, or ribozymes, which contribute to a range of cellular processes, require little or no assistance from proteins. Furthermore, the discovery of metabolite-sensing riboswitches and other types of RNA sensors has revealed RNA-based mechanisms that cells use to(More)
The biosynthesis of several protein cofactors is subject to feedback regulation by riboswitches. Flavin mononucleotide (FMN)-specific riboswitches, also known as RFN elements, direct expression of bacterial genes involved in the biosynthesis and transport of riboflavin (vitamin B(2)) and related compounds. Here we present the crystal structures of the(More)
We report the results of a first, collective, blind experiment in RNA three-dimensional (3D) structure prediction, encompassing three prediction puzzles. The goals are to assess the leading edge of RNA structure prediction techniques; compare existing methods and tools; and evaluate their relative strengths, weaknesses, and limitations in terms of sequence(More)
In bacterial ribosomes, the small (30S) ribosomal subunit is composed of 16S rRNA and 21 distinct proteins. Ribosomal protein S15 is of particular interest because it binds primarily to 16S rRNA and is required for assembly of the small subunit and for intersubunit association, thus representing a key element in the assembly of a whole ribosome. Here we(More)
Riboswitches were discovered in 2002 in bacteria as RNA-based intracellular sensors of vitamin derivatives. During the last decade, naturally occurring RNA sensor elements have been found to bind a range of small metabolites and ions and to exert regulatory control of transcription, translation, splicing, and RNA stability. Extensive biochemical,(More)
The 16S rRNA-binding ribosomal protein S15 is a key component in the assembly of the small ribosomal subunit in bacteria. We have shown that S15 from the extreme thermophile Thermus thermophilus represses the translation of its own mRNA in vitro, by interacting with the leader segment of its mRNA. The S15 mRNA-binding site was characterized by footprinting(More)
Gene expression can be regulated at the level of initiation of protein biosynthesis via structural elements present at the 5' untranslated region of mRNAs. These folded mRNA segments may bind to the ribosome, thus blocking translation until the mRNA unfolds. Here, we report a series of cryo-electron microscopy snapshots of ribosomal complexes directly(More)
In bacteria, the intracellular concentration of several amino acids is controlled by riboswitches. One of the important regulatory circuits involves lysine-specific riboswitches, which direct the biosynthesis and transport of lysine and precursors common for lysine and other amino acids. To understand the molecular basis of amino acid recognition by(More)