Single nucleotide RNA choreography
Tannenbaum, Allen R.
Williams, Loren D.
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New structural analysis methods, and a tree formalism re-define and expand the RNA motif concept, unifying what previously appeared to be disparate groups of structures. We find RNA tetraloops at high frequencies, in new contexts, with unexpected lengths, and in novel topologies. The results, with broad implications for RNA structure in general, show that even at this most elementary level of organization, RNA tolerates astounding variation in conformation, length, sequence and context. However the variation is not random; it is well described by four distinct modes, which are 3-2 switches (backbone topology variations), insertions, deletions and strand clips.