RNA represents a major biological target for future drug development, because it is involved in a wide number of biological processes, such as transcription, translation or catalysis and more importantly it is essential for the regulation of gene expression. Most biologically relevant RNAs bear a three-dimensional structure containing single-stranded regions (loops and bulges) associated to double-stranded regions that offers the possibility for selective/specific binding interactions with proteins and small-molecule ligands.
The main goal of our research activities is to design and synthesize new RNA ligands bearing both strong affinity and high selectivity for a biologically relevant RNA target and to study the interactions involved in the formation of the ligand-RNA complex using biochemical and biophysical techniques.