Date of Original Version
© 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI
Abstract or Description
To function as gene regulatory elements in response to environmental signals, riboswitches must adopt specific secondary structures on appropriate time scales. We employ kinetic Monte Carlo simulation to model the time-dependent folding during transcription of thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP) riboswitch expression platforms. According to our simulations, riboswitch transcriptional terminators, which must adopt a specific hairpin configuration by the time they have been transcribed, fold with higher efficiency than Shine-Dalgarno sequesterers, whose proper structure is required only at the time of ribosomal binding. Our findings suggest both that riboswitch transcriptional terminator sequences have been naturally selected for high folding efficiency, and that sequesterers can maintain their function even in the presence of significant misfolding.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Entropy, 15, 8, 3088-3099.