Since the year 2000 a number of large RNA three-dimensional structures have been determined by X-ray crystallography. Structures composed of more than 100 nucleotide residues include the signal recognition particle RNA, group I intron, the GlmS ribozyme, RNAseP RNA, and ribosomal RNAs from , and . These large RNAs are constructed from the same secondary and tertiary structural motifs identified in smaller RNAs but appear to have a larger organizational architecture. They are dominated by long continuous interhelical base stacking, tend to segregate into domains, and are planar in overall shape as opposed to their globular protein counterparts. These findings have consequences in RNA folding, intermolecular interaction, and packing, in addition to studies of design and engineering and structure prediction.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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