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With the growing number of crystal structures of RNA and RNA-protein complexes, a critical next step is understanding the dynamic solution behavior of these entities in terms of conformational ensembles and energy landscapes. To this end, we have used X-ray scattering interferometry (XSI) to probe the ubiquitous RNA kink-turn motif and its complexes with the canonical kink-turn binding protein L7Ae. XSI revealed that the folded kink-turn is best described as a restricted conformational ensemble. The ions present in solution alter the nature of this ensemble, and protein binding can perturb the kink-turn ensemble without collapsing it to a unique state. This study demonstrates how XSI can reveal structural and ensemble properties of RNAs and RNA-protein complexes and uncovers the behavior of an important RNA-protein motif. This type of information will be necessary to understand, predict and engineer the behavior and function of RNAs and their protein complexes.
- Base sequence
- Molecular dynamics simulation
- Molecular sequence data
- Nucleic acid conformation
- Nucleotide motifs
- Scattering, Radiation
- Journal article
- Research support, N.I.H., Extramural
- Research support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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