- Interplay of ‘induced fit’ and preorganization in the ligand induced folding of the aptamer domain of the guanine binding riboswitch (2007)
- Riboswitches are highly structured elements in the 50-untranslated regions (50-UTRs) of messenger RNA that control gene expression by specifically binding to small metabolite molecules. They consist of an aptamer domain responsible for ligand binding and an expression platform. Ligand binding in the aptamer domain leads to conformational changes in the expression platform that result in transcription termination or abolish ribosome binding. The guanine riboswitch binds with high-specificity to guanine and hypoxanthine and is among the smallest riboswitches described so far. The X-ray-structure of its aptamer domain in complex with guanine/ hypoxanthine reveals an intricate RNA-fold consisting of a three-helix junction stabilized by longrange base pairing interactions. We analyzed the conformational transitions of the aptamer domain induced by binding of hypoxanthine using highresolution NMR-spectroscopy in solution. We found that the long-range base pairing interactions are already present in the free RNA and preorganize its global fold. The ligand binding core region is lacking hydrogen bonding interactions and therefore likely to be unstructured in the absence of ligand. Mg2+-ions are not essential for ligand binding and do not change the structure of the RNA-ligand complex but stabilize the structure at elevated temperatures. We identified a mutant RNA where the long-range base pairing interactions are disrupted in the free form of the RNA but form upon ligand binding in an Mg2+-dependent fashion. The tertiary interaction motif is stable outside the riboswitch context.
- High-resolution NMR structure of an RNA model system: the 14-mer cUUCGg tetraloop hairpin RNA (2009)
- We present a high-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) solution structure of a 14-mer RNA hairpin capped by cUUCGg tetraloop. This short and very stable RNA presents an important model system for the study of RNA structure and dynamics using NMR spectroscopy, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and RNA force-field development. The extraordinary high precision of the structure (root mean square deviation of 0.3 Å) could be achieved by measuring and incorporating all currently accessible NMR parameters, including distances derived from nuclear Overhauser effect (NOE) intensities, torsion-angle dependent homonuclear and heteronuclear scalar coupling constants, projection-angle-dependent cross-correlated relaxation rates and residual dipolar couplings. The structure calculations were performed with the program CNS using the ARIA setup and protocols. The structure quality was further improved by a final refinement in explicit water using OPLS force field parameters for non-bonded interactions and charges. In addition, the 2'-hydroxyl groups have been assigned and their conformation has been analyzed based on NOE contacts. The structure currently defines a benchmark for the precision and accuracy amenable to RNA structure determination by NMR spectroscopy. Here, we discuss the impact of various NMR restraints on structure quality and discuss in detail the dynamics of this system as previously determined.
- 13C-direct detected NMR experiments for the sequential J-based resonance assignment of RNA oligonucleotides (2010)
- We present here a set of 13C-direct detected NMR experiments to facilitate the resonance assignment of RNA oligonucleotides. Three experiments have been developed: (1) the (H)CC-TOCSY-experiment utilizing a virtual decoupling scheme to assign the intraresidual ribose 13C-spins, (2) the (H)CPC-experiment that correlates each phosphorus with the C40 nuclei of adjacent nucleotides via J(C,P) couplings and (3) the (H)CPC-CCH-TOCSY-experiment that correlates the phosphorus nuclei with the respective C10,H10 ribose signals. The experiments were applied to two RNA hairpin structures. The current set of 13C-direct detected experiments allows direct and unambiguous assignment of the majority of the hetero nuclei and the identification of the individual ribose moieties following their sequential assignment. Thus, 13C-direct detected NMR methods constitute useful complements to the conventional 1H-detected approach for the resonance assignment of oligonucleotides that is often hindered by the limited chemical shift dispersion. The developed methods can also be applied to large deuterated RNAs. Keywords: NMR spectroscopy , Direct carbon , detection , RNA