▪ Abstract 

The problem of how ions influence the folding of RNA into specific tertiary structures is being addressed from both thermodynamic (by how much do different salts affect the free energy change of folding) and structural (how are ions arranged on or near an RNA and what kinds of environments do they occupy) points of view. The challenge is to link these different approaches in a theoretical framework that relates the energetics of ion-RNA interactions to the spatial distribution of ions. This review distinguishes three different kinds of ion environments that differ in the extent of direct ion-RNA contacts and the degree to which the ion hydration is perturbed, and summarizes the current understanding of the way each environment relates to the overall energetics of RNA folding.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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