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. 2018 Nov 1;10(11):a032797.
doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a032797.

Riboswitches and Translation Control

Free PMC article

Riboswitches and Translation Control

Ronald R Breaker. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. .
Free PMC article


A growing collection of bacterial riboswitch classes is being discovered that sense central metabolites, coenzymes, and signaling molecules. Included among the various mechanisms of gene regulation exploited by these RNA regulatory elements are several that modulate messenger RNA (mRNA) translation. In this review, the mechanisms of riboswitch-mediated translation control are summarized to highlight both their diversity and potential ancient origins. These mechanisms include ligand-gated presentation or occlusion of ribosome-binding sites, control of alternative splicing of mRNAs, and the regulation of mRNA stability. Moreover, speculation on the potential for novel riboswitch discoveries is presented, including a discussion on the potential for the discovery of a greater diversity of mechanisms for translation control.

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