Pumilio is an RNA-binding protein originally identified in Drosophila, with a Puf domain made up of eight Puf repeats, three helix bundles arranged in a rainbow architecture, where each repeat recognizes a single base of the RNA-binding sequence. The eight-base recognition sequence can therefore be modified simply via mutation of the repeat that recognizes the base to be changed and this is understood in detail via high-resolution crystal structures. The binding mechanism is also altered in a variety of homologues from different species, with bases flipped out from the binding site to regenerate a consensus sequence. Thus Pumilios can be designed with bespoke RNA recognition sequences and can be fused to nucleases, split GFP, etc. as tools in vitro and in cells.

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