Aptamers in RNA-based switches of gene expression

Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2020 Jun;63:34-40. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2019.11.008. Epub 2019 Dec 5.

Abstract

The ability to control gene expression via small molecule effectors is important in basic research as well as in future gene therapy applications. Although transcription factor-based systems are widely used, they are not well suited for certain applications due to a lack of functionality, limited available coding space, and potential immunogenicity of the regulatory proteins. RNA-based switches fill this gap since they can be designed to respond to effector compounds utilizing ligand-sensing aptamers. These systems are very modular since the aptamer can be combined with a variety of different expression platforms. RNA-based switches have been constructed that allow for controlling gene expression in diverse contexts. Here we discuss latest developments and applications of aptamer-based gene expression switches in eukaryotes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aptamers, Nucleotide*
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Ligands
  • RNA* / genetics

Substances

  • Aptamers, Nucleotide
  • Ligands
  • RNA