Book of Abstracts: Albany 2009

category image Albany 2009
Conversation 16
June 16-20 2009
© Adenine Press (2008)

Force and Form in RNA Folding

The importance of structured RNAs in extant biological processes has become increasing clear in the past decades. RNAs identified to function as structured elements have been scrutinized by a variety of techniques that have characterized folding processes and intermediates. Nevertheless, we are left with an unsatisfying view of RNA folding, as few generalities have emerged with clarity from such studies. We have therefore embarked on a distinct course of action, building on seminal work from Draper, Lilley, Westhof and others. Structured RNAs are dissected into components, and the forces responsible for the behavior of each component are investigated. The long term goal is to develop an energetic description of underlying forces and interactions that allows accurate thermodynamic and kinetic descriptions of complex folded RNAs. I will describe some of our initial progress toward this goal.

Dan Herschlag

Department of Biochemistry
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-5307