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Design of simple synthetic RNA thermometers for temperature-controlled gene expression in Escherichia coli

MPS-Authors
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons97316

Neupert,  J.
Organelle Biology and Biotechnology, Department Bock, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons97218

Karcher,  D.
Organelle Biology and Biotechnology, Department Bock, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons97077

Bock,  R.
Organelle Biology and Biotechnology, Department Bock, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Max Planck Society;

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Neupert, J., Karcher, D., & Bock, R. (2008). Design of simple synthetic RNA thermometers for temperature-controlled gene expression in Escherichia coli. Nucleic Acids Research, 36(19), e124. doi:10.1093/nar/gkn545.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0014-26EF-9
Abstract
RNA thermometers are thermosensors that regulate gene expression by temperature-induced changes in RNA conformation. Naturally occurring RNA thermometers exhibit complex secondary structures which are believed to undergo a series of gradual structural changes in response to temperature shifts. Here, we report the de novo design of considerably simpler RNA thermometers that provide useful RNA-only tools to regulate bacterial gene expression by a shift in the growth temperature. We show that a single small stem-loop structure containing the ribosome binding site is sufficient to construct synthetic RNA thermometers that work efficiently at physiological temperatures. Our data suggest that the thermometers function by a simple melting mechanism and thus provide minimum size on/off switches to experimentally induce or repress gene expression by temperature.