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Keywords:

  • conformation analysis;
  • isotope labeling;
  • NMR spectroscopy;
  • resonance assignment;
  • RNA

Abstract

NMR spectroscopy is a powerful tool for studying proteins and nucleic acids in solution. This is illustrated by the fact that nearly half of all current RNA structures were determined by using NMR techniques. Information about the structure, dynamics, and interactions with other RNA molecules, proteins, ions, and small ligands can be obtained for RNA molecules up to 100 nucleotides. This review provides insight into the resonance assignment methods that are the first and crucial step of all NMR studies, into the determination of base-pair geometry, into the examination of local and global RNA conformation, and into the detection of interaction sites of RNA. Examples of NMR investigations of RNA are given by using several different RNA molecules to illustrate the information content obtainable by NMR spectroscopy and the applicability of NMR techniques to a wide range of biologically interesting RNA molecules.