Structural basis of cooperative ligand binding by the glycine riboswitch

Chem Biol. 2011 Mar 25;18(3):293-8. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2011.01.013.


The glycine riboswitch regulates gene expression through the cooperative recognition of its amino acid ligand by a tandem pair of aptamers. A 3.6 Å crystal structure of the tandem riboswitch from the glycine permease operon of Fusobacterium nucleatum reveals the glycine binding sites and an extensive network of interactions, largely mediated by asymmetric A-minor contacts, that serve to communicate ligand binding status between the aptamers. These interactions provide a structural basis for how the glycine riboswitch cooperatively regulates gene expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aptamers, Nucleotide / chemistry*
  • Aptamers, Nucleotide / metabolism
  • Binding Sites
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Glycine / chemistry*
  • Ligands
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • RNA / chemistry
  • Riboswitch*


  • Aptamers, Nucleotide
  • Ligands
  • Riboswitch
  • RNA
  • Glycine

Associated data

  • PDB/3P49