RNA switch — Witch

After my vacation in Taiwan this winter, I’ve returned and found an interesting paper [1] , out of thousands of RSS feeds in my google reader. This paper comes from Christina Smolke‘s lab, and I’ve confess that sometimes I cannot help hating her, because of the outstanding researches to make the promising RNA device alive.

Smolke C. here came up with a review (probably her slides during her lab seminar? ) to give us a comprehensive introduction to the star RNA switch device.

It is self-explaining that RNA is promising in biology not just because RNA is the central role in Central Dogma. The above figure demonstrates the versatile role of RNA, sensing various stimuli, and leading to various cell behaviors.

The detailed information will be available inside the paper, and here an information I wish to convey is that: Bio-computing Time is near, or at least, promising RNA becomes valid now. Transcriptional modulation, splicing modulation, RNA stability modulation, RNAi modulation, translational modulation and even post-translational modulation, have been engineered with the help of magic witch — RNA switch.

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[1] Chang, A. L., Wolf, J. J., & Smolke, C. D. (2012). Synthetic RNA switches as a tool for temporal and spatial control over gene expression. Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 1-10. Elsevier Ltd. doi:10.1016/j.copbio.2012.01.005