Standard Article

Nucleic Acid Structural Energetics

Nucleic Acids Structure and Mapping

  1. Jeffrey R. Vieregg

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a1418.pub2

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Vieregg, J. R. 2010. Nucleic Acid Structural Energetics. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA

  1. Update based on original article by Charles C. Hardin and Andrea F. Moon Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry, © 2000, John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (21 DEC 2016)


Nucleic acids perform many functions essential for life, and exhibit a correspondingly diverse array of structures. This article provides an overview of nucleic acid structure, as well as the forces that govern its formation. The current state of knowledge of nucleic acid thermodynamics is discussed, as well as techniques for predicting and designing structures of interest. Experimental methods used to determine the structure of nucleic acids and the thermodynamics of their reactions are also surveyed.


  • nucleic acids;
  • DNA;
  • RNA;
  • DNA structure;
  • RNA structure;
  • RNA thermodynamics;
  • RNA folding;
  • secondary structure;
  • tertiary structure