[Online] Science Talk - "On the way towards artificial life: RNA switches in artificial cells"
Date and Time: Friday, 26 Feb 2021 from 18:30-19:30
Speaker: Takeshi Tabuchi Yagui (Nucleic Acid Chemistry and Engineering Unit)
To comply with the Okinawa State of Emergency, this event will be held online: https://youtu.be/U3qM0Ui_v2Y
Takeshi Tabuchi Yagui is from Peru, with family roots in Okinawa and mainland Japan.
Inside a living cell coexist 2 different groups of nucleic acids: DNA and RNA. It is well-known that DNA is very important because it holds all the genetic information necessary to make a whole living organism; however, RNA, which is a transcriptional copy of the DNA, is much less known but also plays a very important role in maintaining life: it performs multiple functions within the cell and without it, no proteins could be synthesized. A riboswitch is a regulatory element present in some mRNA that regulates gene expression in response to specific chemical signals; they act as switches, turning the genes ON or OFF depending on the physical conformation of the riboswitch. Since their architecture and regulation mechanism are relatively simple, they can be engineered to respond to a wide range of molecules of interest; this makes riboswitches attractive gene regulatory devices for synthetic biology applications such as artificial cells.