RNA structure determination by solid-state NMR spectroscopy
Authors: Marchanka A, Simon B, Althoff-Ospelt G, Carlomagno T
CellNetworks People: Carlomagno Teresa
Journal: Nat Commun. 2015 May 11;6:7024. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8024

Knowledge of the RNA three-dimensional structure, either in isolation or as part of RNP complexes, is fundamental to understand the mechanism of numerous cellular processes. Because of its flexibility, RNA represents a challenge for crystallization, while the large size of cellular complexes brings solution-state NMR to its limits. Here, we demonstrate an alternative approach on the basis of solid-state NMR spectroscopy. We develop a suite of experiments and RNA labeling schemes and demonstrate for the first time that ssNMR can yield a RNA structure at high-resolution. This methodology allows structural analysis of segmentally labelled RNA stretches in high-molecular weight cellular machines—independent of their ability to crystallize—and opens the way to mechanistic studies of currently difficult-to-access RNA-protein assemblies.