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A ribozyme switch is a part of an mRNA that can directly bind to a small target molecule and whose binding affects the gene's ability. There are two aspects of a riboswitch, the aptamer and the expression platform. The aptamer portion binds to a target molecules and changes shape, affecting the expression platform, which is how gene expression is regulated. Some types of riboswitch mechanisms include:

  • Formation of transcription termination hairpins
  • Blockage of translation by folding to isolate ribosome-binding sites
  • Effect of folding on splicing of mRNA
  • Self-cleavage ribozymes that cleave themselves in the presence of a target molecule

This paper focuses on self-cleaving ribozymes with an aptamer sequence and a hammerhead ribozyme sequence See also Riboswitches for additional information

Experimental Design