Crystalline Transfer RNA: The Three-Dimensional Patterson Function at 12-Angstrom Resolution

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Science  26 Dec 1969:
Vol. 166, Issue 3913, pp. 1621-1624
DOI: 10.1126/science.166.3913.1621


An orthorhombic form of crystalline formylmethionine transter RNA has been obtained which contains one molecule as the asymmetric unit of the unit cell. Three-dimensional x-ray diffraction data have been collected up to a resolution of 12 angstroms, and from this a Patterson function has been calculated. The function contains an elongated ridge of interatomic vectors parallel to the c-axis of the crystal. Analysis of the function suggests that the molecules are elogated and dimerized in an overlapping antiparrael fashion along the c-axis. The dimer has a length near 109 angstroms and a width of 35 angstroms in one direction. The individual molecular length is approximately 80 angstroms with an irregular cross section measuring 25 by 35 angstrms.

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