Gene regulatory studies are of significant importance in many scenarios such as mental illness. 21% of U.S adults experience mental illnesses including 1 in 4 active-duty military personnel. Mental health can be identified in the body by different biomarkers. These biomarkers potentially controlled by riboswitches, which are located in mRNA and switch “ON” or “OFF” depending on the concentration of a biomarker. In this research, a known riboswitch reengineered and its response in the presence of a biomarker investigated. We changed computationally PreQ1, a known riboswitch that has the smallest aptamer, and then experimentally tested against biomarkers, dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEA-S), Serotonin, Cortisol, Dopamine, Epinephrine, and Norepinephrine. A total of 7 variant riboswitches were tested in this research, 4 created computationally discussed here and 3 experimentally not covered in this paper. The results from these variants showed that variants 1 and 2 had different responses to DHEA-S then the expected PreQ1 response. A dose response showed downward trend as DHEA-S concentration increased. In conclusion of this research, riboswitches can be re-engineered to have a different response to biomarkers at the same time keeping the same structure.
& Goswami, T.
(2022). Simulation of Gene Regulatory Elements for Biosensing. Advances in Biochips, 3 (1), 35-49.
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