- Unlike most riboswitches, which have one cognate effector, the bacterial yjdF riboswitch binds to diverse azaaromatic compounds, only a subset of which cause it to activate translation. We examined the yjdF aptamer domain by small-angle X-ray scattering and found that in the presence of activating ligands, the RNA adopts an overall shape similar to that of tRNA. Sequence analyses suggested that the yjdF aptamer is a homolog of tRNALys, and that two of the conserved loops of the riboswitch are equivalent to the D-loop and T-loop of tRNA, associating to form an elbow-like tertiary interaction.
- Approximately 17 years after the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) epidemic, the world is currently facing the COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). According to the most optimistic projections, it will take more than a year to develop a vaccine, so the best short-term strategy may lie in identifying virus-specific targets for small molecule–based interventions. All coronaviruses utilize a molecular mechanism called programmed −1 ribosomal frameshift (−1 PRF) to control the relative expression of their proteins.
- AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a molecular energy sensor that acts to sustain cellular energy balance. Although AMPK is implicated in the regulation of a multitude of ATP-dependent cellular processes, exactly how these processes are controlled by AMPK as well as the identity of AMPK targets and pathways continues to evolve. Here we identify MAP kinase-interacting serine/threonine protein kinase 1a (MNK1a) as a novel AMPK target. Specifically, we show AMPK-dependent Ser353 phosphorylation of the human MNK1a isoform in cell-free and cellular systems.