My research currently focuses on multi-scale modeling of the chemical mechanism of prototypical RNA enzymes, particularly the hepatitis delta virus (HDV) ribozyme. The HDV ribozyme is interesting from a biological standpoint as it is the only ribozyme associated with a human pathogen.Analogous genetic sequences have also recently been found in the human genome. From a chemical perspective, the HDV ribozyme is significant in that it uniquely utilizes several catalytic strategies generally associated with ribozymes, namely site specific modification of nucleobase pKas and careful recruitment of divalent metal ions.
Brian K. Radak
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