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Protein-RNA Recognition

  • Page ID
    470
  • RNA-protein interactions are behind a number of vital processes in the cell. Without the ability of particular proteins to bind RNA, the RNA would no longer be able to carry out its important functions as a component of the ribosome1,2 and spliceosome.3 Other examples of important RNA-protein interactions include binding of tRNA to aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, a process vital to translation of genetic information into proteins necessary for continued biological function4 and regulation of post-transcriptional control of gene expression via the binding of RNA to riobonucleoproteins, or RNPs.5

    Although not as well characterized as the binding between DNA and proteins, RNA-protein binding has been a field that has seen a great deal of growth in recent years. Although it was originally expected that RNA-protein binding motifs might fall neatly into categories the way DNA motifs did, the wide range of secondary and tertiary RNA structures that can be recognized by proteins requires more variety in binding motifs of the proteins, and the rules used to categorize them become correspondingly more complex.6 At this time all major families of RNA-binding proteins have been structurally characterized and these characterizations have led to a much better understanding of RNA recognition.7

    Contributors and Attributions

    • Therese Gerbich- Truman State University, Kirksville, MO
    • Ashley Hoaglin- Truman State University, Kirksville, MO