Engineering of Supramolecular RNA Structures

E. Ramlan, Mohd Firdaus-Raih

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Biological catalysis was thought to be synonymous with catalytically active protein, i.e., enzymes, until RNA molecules with catalytic capability were discovered. These RNA enzymes or ribozymes, led to the hypothesis that precursors of the cell may have relied exclusively on RNA for both transmission of genetic information and metabolism (i.e., the RNA world hypothesis). The exploitation of RNA molecule as functional molecular devices is expanded from logical gate constructs to the fabrication of functional synthetic supramoleculer RNAs that have been expressed in living cells. The richness of the biophysics and biochemistry of natural occurring RNAs provide a knowledge-base towards better engineering of functional supramolecular devices. Common methodologies in constructing these devices are presented together with a generic computational pipeline to guide the design process. Engineering RNA supramolecules that scale, in terms of size and functional complexity when compared to natural RNAs (e.g., ribosome and spliceosome) quickly becomes a challenge to the RNA nanotechnology field. Therefore, further developments in computational and design methods with the growth of RNA structures cataloging are expected to resolve this scalability issue. Thus, capable of delivering RNA supramoleculer constructs with immediate application in nanotechnology and nanomedicine.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReference Module in Life Sciences
Subtitle of host publicationEncyclopedia of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
EditorsShoba Ranganathan, Michael Gribskov, Kenta Nakai, Christian Schönbach
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-0-12-811432-2
Publication statusPublished online - 6 Sept 2018


  • RNA architectonics
  • RNA computing
  • RNA nanoparticles
  • RNA nanorobots
  • RNA nanotechnology
  • Supramolecular RNA


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