Jan 16, 2002

Molecular dynamics simulations of the denaturation and refolding of an RNA tetraloop

Journal of Biomolecular Structure & Dynamics
W LiB A Shapiro

Abstract

Tetraloops are very abundant structural elements of RNA that are formed by four nucleotides in a hairpin loop which is closed by a double stranded helical stem with some Watson-Crick base pairs. A tetraloop r(GCGAAGGC) was identified from the crystal structure of the central domain of 16S rRNA (727-730) in the Thermus thermophilus 30S ribosomal complex. The crystal structure of the 30S complex includes a total of 104 nucleotides from the central domain of the 16S rRNA and three ribosomal proteins S6, S15 and S18. Independent biochemical experiments have demonstrated that protein S15 plays the role in initiating the formation of the central domain of this complex. In the crystal, the tetraloop interacts with the protein S15 at two sites: one of them is associated with hydrogen bond interactions between residue His50 and nucleotide G730, and the other is associated with the occurrence of residue Arg53 beside A728. This paper uses molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to investigate the protein-dependent structural stability of the tetraloop and demonstrates the folding pathway of this tetraloop via melting denaturation and its subsequent refolding. Three important results are derived from these simulations: (i) The stability of nuc...Continue Reading

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Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

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