- Charge reduction and thermodynamic stabilization of substrate RNAs inhibit RNA editing (2015)
- African trypanosomes cause a parasitic disease known as sleeping sickness. Mitochondrial transcript maturation in these organisms requires a RNA editing reaction that is characterized by the insertion and deletion of U-nucleotides into otherwise non-functional mRNAs. Editing represents an ideal target for a parasite-specific therapeutic intervention since the reaction cycle is absent in the infected host. In addition, editing relies on a macromolecular protein complex, the editosome, that only exists in the parasite. Therefore, all attempts to search for editing interfering compounds have been focused on molecules that bind to proteins of the editing machinery. However, in analogy to other RNA-driven biochemical pathways it should be possible to stall the reaction by targeting its substrate RNAs. Here we demonstrate inhibition of editing by specific aminoglycosides. The molecules bind into the major groove of the gRNA/pre-mRNA editing substrates thereby causing a stabilization of the RNA molecules through charge compensation and an increase in stacking. The data shed light on mechanistic details of the editing process and identify critical parameters for the development of new trypanocidal compounds.
- Conformational dynamics of the tetracycline-binding aptamer (2011)
- The conformational dynamics induced by ligand binding to the tetracycline-binding aptamer is monitored via stopped-flow fluorescence spectroscopy and time-correlated single photon counting experiments. The fluorescence of the ligand is sensitive to changes within the tertiary structure of the aptamer during and after the binding process. In addition to the wild-type aptamer, the mutants A9G, A13U and A50U are examined, where bases important for regulation are changed to inhibit the aptamer’s function. Our results suggest a very fast two-step-mechanism for the binding of the ligand to the aptamer that can be interpreted as a binding step followed by a reorganization of the aptamer to accommodate the ligand. Binding to the two direct contact points A13 and A50 was found to occur in the first binding step. The exchange of the structurally important base A9 for guanine induces an enormous deceleration of the overall binding process, which is mainly rooted in an enhancement of the back reaction of the first binding step by several orders of magnitude. This indicates a significant loss of tertiary structure of the aptamer in the absence of the base A9, and underlines the importance of pre-organization on the overall binding process of the tetracycline-binding aptamer.
- Molekulare Gymnastik : Rotationen, Schwingungen und chemische Reaktionen (2003)
- Bei jeder chemischen Reaktion werden Bindungen gebrochen und andere neu geknüpft. Dabei ändert sich die Anordnung und eventuell Anzahl der Atome im Molekül. Voraussetzung hierfür sind Bewegungen der beteiligten Atome und Moleküle. Um chemische Umwandlungen in "Echtzeit" zu studieren, müssen Untersuchungen im Zeitbereich der Schwingungs- und Rotationsdynamik durchgeführt werden. Dazu nutzen Wissenschaftler des Instituts für Physikalische und Theoretische Chemie die Möglichkeiten der modernen Ultrakurzzeit-Lasertechnik.
- Ultrafast photoinduced electron transfer in coumarin 343 sensitized TiO2-colloidal solution (1999)
- Photoinduced electron transfer from organic dye molecules to semiconductor nanoparticles is the first and most important reaction step for the mechanism in the so called “wet solar cells” . The time scale between the photoexcitation of the dye and the electron injection into the conduction band of the semiconductor colloid varies from a few tens of femtoseconds to nanoseconds, depending on the specific electron transfer parameters of the system, e.g., electronic coupling or free energy values of donor and acceptor molecules [2–10]. We show that visible pump/ white light probe is a very efficient tool to investigate the electron injection reaction allowing to observe simultaneously the relaxation of the excited dye, the injection process of the electron, the cooling of the injected electron and the charge recombination reaction.