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In vitro selection of ribonucleic acid structural motifs

The research relies on in vitro darwinian selection of ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules to produce RNA structural motifs with designed characteristics (aptamers): self splicing activity, potential for recognition of other RNA motifs, ability to bind specifically antibiotics or amino acids. The structural identification of the motifs is performed using chemical footprinting techniques, modelling, and possibly X-ray analysis.

Aptamers have been obtained with affinity for aminoglycoside and peptide antibiotics, with affinity for flavine cofactors, as well as aptamers distinguishing arginine from citrulline (change from an amino to a carbonyl group) or able to differentiate the most common RNA tetraloops. Structural characterization of some of the aptamers is well under way, as well as crystallization experiments.

Reported by

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
15,rue R Descartes
67084 Strasbourg
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