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Title:Dynamics of Hairpin Ribozyme
Author(s):Tan, Elliot
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Clegg, Robert
Department / Program:Biophysics and Computational Biology
Discipline:Biophysics and Computational Biology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Biophysics, General
Abstract:This thesis research uses single molecule spectroscopy to study the dynamics of hairpin ribozyme---an enzymatic RNA molecule capable of cleaving phosphodiester linkage. RNA controls key processes of gene expression. Ribozymes can catalytically edit precursor RNA message transcribed from DNA, the edited RNA then carries the genetic information to the translation machinery and participates in the process of protein synthesis. Using a set of four nucleotides, RNA is able to fold into complex structures with enzymatic power. This has led us to the speculation that RNA catalytic functions preceded the DNA-protein partnership. The experiments described here are aimed at better understanding how RNA organizes itself into an active conformation that performs its catalytic function. As a small nucleolytic ribozyme, the hairpin ribozyme provides an excellent opportunity to dissect the enzymatic origin of RNA systems. In our experiments we use RNA molecules that have been chemically synthesized. The in vitro solid state chemical synthesis procedure is amenable to site-directed modification, and this provides a straightforward method to check for functional blocks critical for biocatalysis. The high resolution crystal structure of the hairpin ribozyme guides us in carrying out sophisticated experiments to discover structure-function relationships, it aids our investigation of dynamic processes using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) techniques on single molecules. The functional blocks and dynamic mechanisms when unveiled would help us understand RNA catalysis.
Issue Date:2002
Description:88 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2002.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3070055
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2002

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