March 15, 2024 Seminar- Anti-RNA antibodies for RNA structural biology and beyond

Published: March 8, 2024

Joseph Piccirilli PhD


Defining RNA 3D structures can facilitate understanding of how an RNA molecule performs its functions and may provide insight for developing targeted therapeutics. A relatively modest fraction of deposited structures in the PDB database represents RNA and RNA-protein structures, underscoring the difficulties associated with the RNA crystallography. We have developed antibody fragments (Fabs) against RNA and used them as chaperones for crystallization and determination of numerous RNA structures. In each case, Fabs facilitate the crystallization by mediating the majority (~ 85%) of the crystal contacts and enable structure determination by serving as initial molecular replacement models. In addition to engineering Fabs to bind specific RNA targets of interest, we have developed a suite of portable Fab-RNA modules that can be easily engineered into an RNA of interest for use in RNA crystallography and as enabling tools for RNA biology. I will discuss progress, challenges, and potential applications associated with engineering antibodies to RNA.

When: March 15, 2024

Where: North Classroom 1130

Time: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm