Publications - Published papers

Please find below publications of our group. Currently, we list 508 papers. Some of the publications are in collaboration with the group of Sonja Prohaska and are also listed in the publication list for her individual group. Access to published papers (access) is restricted to our local network and chosen collaborators. If you have problems accessing electronic information, please let us know:

©NOTICE: All papers are copyrighted by the authors; If you would like to use all or a portion of any paper, please contact the author.

The Effect of RNA Secondary Structures on RNA-Ligand Binding and the Modifier RNA Mechanism: A Quantitative Model

Jörg Hackermüller, Nicole-Claudia Meisner, Manfred Auer, Markus Jaritz, Peter F. Stadler


PREPRINT 04-016: [ PDF ]  [ PS ]
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Gene 345: 3-12 (2005).


RNA-ligand binding often depends crucially on the local RNA secondary structure at the binding site. We develop here a model that quantitatively predicts the effect of RNA secondary structure on effective RNA-ligand binding activities based on equilibrium thermodynamics and the explicit computations of partition functions for the RNA structures. A statistical test for the impact of a particular structural feature on the binding affinities follows directly from this approach. The formalism is extended to describing the effects of hybridizing small ``modifier RNAs'' to a target RNA molecule outside its ligand binding site. We illustrate the applicability of our approach by quantitatively describing the interaction of the mRNA stabilizing protein HuR with AU-rich elements [Meisner et al. (2004), Chem. Biochem. in press]. We discuss our model and recent experimental findings demonstrating the effectivity of modifier RNAs in vitro in the context of the current research activities in the field of non-coding RNAs. We speculate that modifier RNAs might also exist in nature; if so, they present an additional regulatory layer for fine-tuning gene expression that could evolve rapidly, leaving no obvious traces in the genomic DNA sequences.


RNA secondary structure, non-coding RNA, mRNA stability regulation, AU-rich elements, gene expression