Neocles B. Leontis, Ph.D.
Nucleic Acids (DNA and RNA) play diverse roles in living organisms. Not only do they encode genetic information but they actively participate in its readout from transcription to translation, including splicing, editing, and regulation at each stage. Single-stranded DNA and RNA molecules fold into complex 3-dimensional structures to carry out these roles. We are investigating the logic of the 3D architecture of these molecules using an integrated biophysical, biochemical, and bioinformatic approach. These complex structures are able to specifically bind other molecules, including potential drug molecules. Photosensitizers that can specifically bind DNA or RNA molecules have tremendous potential for overcoming present limitations of photodynamic therapy, by directing damage to molecules specific to the target cells. We are investigating the binding of potent photosensitizers to complex nucleic acids using biophysical and biochemical methods. See also: Geometric Classification of Non-Canonical Basepairing.
A Three-Dimensional RNA Motif in Potato spindle tuber viroid Mediates Trafficking from Palisade Mesophyll to Spongy Mesophyll in Nicotiana benthamiana. Takeda R, Petrov AI, Leontis NB, Ding B. Plant Cell. 2011 Jan;23(1):258-72. Epub 2011 Jan 21.
Center for Photochemical Sciences
Bowling Green State University
132 Overman Hall, Bowling Green, Ohio 43403
Phone: (419) 372-2033 | Fax: (419) 372-0366