Riboswitches are RNA sensors of small metabolites and ions that regulate gene expression in response to environmental changes. In bacteria, the riboswitch sensor domain usually controls the formation of a strong RNA hairpin that either functions as a potent transcription terminator or sequesters a ribosome-binding site. A recent study demonstrated a novel mechanism by which a riboswitch controls Rho-dependent transcription termination. This riboswitch mechanism is likely a widespread mode of gene regulation that determines whether a protein effector is able to attenuate transcription. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Riboswitches.
Keywords: Rho; Riboswitch; Transcription termination.
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