Comparative Sequence and Structure Analysis Reveals the Conservation and Diversity of Nucleotide Positions and Their Associated Tertiary Interactions in the Riboswitches

Sri D. Appasamy, E. Ramlan, Mohd Firdaus-Raih

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The tertiary motifs in complex RNA molecules play vital roles to either stabilize the formation of RNA 3D structure or to provide important biological functionality to the molecule. In order to better understand the roles of these tertiary motifs in riboswitches, we examined 11 representative riboswitch PDB structures for potential agreement of both motif occurrences and conservations. A total of 61 unique tertiary interactions were found in the reference structures. In addition to the expected common A-minor motifs and base-triples mainly involved in linking distant regions the riboswitch structures three highly conserved variants of A-minor interactions called G-minors were found in the SAM-I and FMN riboswitches where they appear to be involved in the recognition of the respective ligand's functional groups. From our structural survey as well as corresponding structure and sequence alignments, the agreement between motif occurrences and conservations are very prominent across the representative riboswitches. Our analysis provide evidence that some of these tertiary interactions are essential components to form the structure where their sequence positions are conserved despite a high degree of diversity in other parts of the respective riboswitches sequences. This is indicative of a vital role for these tertiary interactions in determining the specific biological function of riboswitch.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere73984
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume8
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sep 2013

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