Engineered allosteric ribozymes as biosensor components

Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2002 Feb;13(1):31-9. doi: 10.1016/s0958-1669(02)00281-1.


RNA and DNA molecules can be engineered to function as molecular switches that trigger catalytic events when a specific target molecule becomes bound. Recent studies on the underlying biochemical properties of these constructs indicate that a significant untapped potential exists for the practical application of allosteric nucleic acids. Engineered molecular switches can be used to report the presence of specific analytes in complex mixtures, making possible the creation of new types of biosensor devices and genetic control elements.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Allosteric Regulation
  • Biosensing Techniques*
  • Catalysis
  • Chemical Engineering*
  • Kinetics
  • RNA, Catalytic / chemistry*
  • RNA, Catalytic / genetics


  • RNA, Catalytic