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Evidence that Electrostatic Interactions Dictate the Ligand-Induced Arrest of RNA Global Flexibility


  • We thank Prof. H. Schwalbe, Dr. J. Wöhnert (University of Frankfurt), Dr. A. Phân (MSKCC), and Prof. O. Yaghi (University of Michigan) for stimulating discussions. H.M.A. was a visiting professor supported by SFB 579 at the University of Frankfurt in the group of H. Schwalbe during part of this work. D.J.P. acknowledges funding from the NIH (CA46778).


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The global dynamics of the TAR RNA from HIV-1 bound to two distinctly charged molecules have been characterized by NMR studies of residual dipolar couplings (see picture). While neomycin B (NeoB: +5) arrests global motions in TAR, the small organic molecule acetylpromazine (AcP: +1) does not. Results indicate that electrostatic interactions are critical for arresting global motions in RNA.