Mika Schievelbein (University of Notre Dame)


Location: 322 Jordan Hall

Abstract:  Considering Na+ is an essential cation for biological processes of all domains of life, including ATP synthesis, maintenance of cellular pH, and many more physiological processes, Na+ levels must be regulated in biological systems. There is only one protein that regulates Na+ levels in bacteria, which is unlikely to be the only mechanism bacteria use for regulating such an essential ion. Here, a new mechanism for Na+ regulation is offered via a novel class of Na+ riboswitches containing DUF1646 RNA motifs. This new class of riboswitches demonstrate low mM apparent binding affinities and high selectivity towards Na+ ions. In some instances, these riboswitches are encoded in tandem with c-di-AMP riboswitches, offering insight into a potential regulatory mechanism for combatting osmotic stress at the RNA level.


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