Metal ion complex binding to structured sites in RNA and DNA are studied by using several techniques including fluorescence spectroscopy, thermal melting experiments, CD spectroscopy, surface plasmon resonance and NMR spectroscopy. Our goals are to define which types of secondary structural motifs in nucleic acids form specific metal ion binding pockets. The role of these metal ion binding sites in mediating interactions of small molecules with RNA and DNA is under study. One successful approach uses zinc(II) complexes to target G-quadruplexes that contain unpaired thymines in lateral loops including the human telomeric G-quadruplex.
Student Skill-Set Needed: Students should have completed general chemistry and organic chemistry.
Compensation: Academic Credit
Available: Fall, Spring, Summer
For further information on this opportunity, or to apply, contact:
Faculty Member: Janet R. Morrow
Office: 526 Natural Sciences Complex
Phone: (716) 645-4187