Unlocking the secrets of RNA in 3D

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Science  03 Oct 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6205, pp. 51
DOI: 10.1126/science.346.6205.51-b

RNA can both store information in its linear sequence and take on critical structural and catalytic roles in the cell, such as during the translation of messenger RNA into proteins. These latter functions depend on the complex higher-order structures RNA is able to form. Homan et al. now report a method to probe these intricate conformational states. They chemically modified exposed segments of three complex RNA structures. They then sequenced the RNA to map the locations of the multiple modifications in each individual linear RNA molecule. This allowed the researchers to deduce interactions in three-dimensional space, and to uncover new and previously hidden conformations, providing valuable information on the folding and function of RNAs.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 10.1073/pnas.1407306111 (2014).

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