Rube Goldberg goes (ribo)nuclear? Molecular switches and sensors made from RNA

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review


Switches and sensors play important roles in our everyday lives. The chemical properties of RNA make it amenable for use as a switch or sensor, both artificially and in nature. This review focuses on recent advances in artificial RNA switches and sensors. Researchers have been applying classical biochemical principles such as allostery in elegant ways that are influencing the development of biosensors and other applications. Particular attention is given here to allosteric ribozymes (aptazymes) that are regulated by small organic molecules, by proteins, or by oligonucleotides. Also discussed are ribozymes whose activities are controlled by various nonallosteric strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-383
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003


  • Allosteric
  • Aptazyme
  • Ribozyme
  • Sensor
  • Switch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology


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