Solving nucleic acid structures by molecular replacement: examples from group II intron studies.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr, Volume 69, Issue Pt 11, p.2174-85 (2013)


Amino Acid Substitution, Conserved Sequence, Crystallography, X-Ray, Forecasting, Introns, Models, Molecular, RNA, Long Noncoding, Sequence Homology, Amino Acid, Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid, Transcription, Genetic


<p>Structured RNA molecules are key players in ensuring cellular viability. It is now emerging that, like proteins, the functions of many nucleic acids are dictated by their tertiary folds. At the same time, the number of known crystal structures of nucleic acids is also increasing rapidly. In this context, molecular replacement will become an increasingly useful technique for phasing nucleic acid crystallographic data in the near future. Here, strategies to select, create and refine molecular-replacement search models for nucleic acids are discussed. Using examples taken primarily from research on group II introns, it is shown that nucleic acids are amenable to different and potentially more flexible and sophisticated molecular-replacement searches than proteins. These observations specifically aim to encourage future crystallographic studies on the newly discovered repertoire of noncoding transcripts. </p>