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Hierarchical dynamics of individual RNA helix base pair formation and disruption

Hon, Jason J.

This thesis explores the RNA folding problem using single-molecule field effect transistors (smFETs) to measure the lifetimes of individual RNA base-pairing rearrangements. In the course of this research, considerable computational, chemical, and engineering contributions were developed so that the single-molecule measurements could be conducted and quantified. These advancements have allowed, on the basis of the smFET data collected herein, the quantification of a kinetic model for RNA stem-loop structures which has been generalized to quantitatively explore the phenomenological observation that an RNA found in the bacillus subtilis strain acts as a metabolite-sensing switch, allowing RNA polymerase to transcribe the messenger RNA when the metabolite is present and preventing transcription when the metabolite is absent. Together, the data presented quantify a simple model for the base pairing rearrangements that underlie RNA folding.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Chemical Physics
Thesis Advisors
Gonzalez, Ruben L.
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
September 14, 2017