RNA as a drug target and material for nanotechnology
Professor Thomas Hermann (Univ. of California, San Diego, Dept. of Chemistry & Biochemistry)
Host: Professor Amanda Hargrove
Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 11:40am to 1:10pm
Location: French Family Science Center 2237
Rosenthal, Janet

Link for Professor Hermann

Abstract:  RNA folding gives rise to intricate three-dimensional architectures that rival protein folds in structural complexity. Many biological processes rely on structured noncoding RNA (ncRNA) as key participants which may bind small molecule ligands as inhibitors or modulators of RNA function. We have discovered a conformational switch motif in ncRNA of viral genomes which binds guanosine as a natural ligand and serves as a target for synthetic translation inhibitors. We have also used viral ncRNA switches as autonomously folding building blocks for self-assembling nucleic acid nanostructures which represent the yet smallest nano-objects built from double-stranded nucleic acid.