Rosa Romero

Mentor: Walter
Biological Chemistry

Areas of Interest

Riboswitches are genetic regulatory elements located in the 5’ untranslated region of bacterial mRNAs. Riboswitches contain two domains that function in concert to regulate gene expression levels in response to changing cellular conditions. This allows for fine-tuning at both the transcriptional and translational levels of gene regulation. I want to better understand the folding mechanism of riboswitches in different biologically relevant conditions using single molecules approaches, while also using biochemical assays to correlate conformational states to in vivo cell conditions and identify whether genes turn on or off and to what extent. In addition, I am interested in doing structural work on riboswitches using Cryo-EM methods. My current project is studying the folding mechanism of the Vibrio Cholerae transcriptional glycine tandem riboswitch which controls the expression of Na+\adenine symporter in the cell.