Toward a consensus view of duplex RNA flexibility.

TitleToward a consensus view of duplex RNA flexibility.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsFaustino, Ignacio, Pérez Alberto, and Orozco Modesto
JournalBiophys J
Date Published2010 Sep 22
KeywordsBase Pairing, Base Sequence, Double-Stranded, Molecular Dynamics Simulation, Nucleic Acid Conformation, Nucleotides, RNA

The structure and flexibility of the RNA duplex has been studied using extended molecular dynamics simulations on four diverse 18-mer oligonucleotides designed to contain many copies of the 10 unique dinucleotide steps in different sequence environments. Simulations were performed using the two most popular force fields for nucleic acids simulations (AMBER and CHARMM) in their latest versions, trying to arrive to a consensus picture of the RNA flexibility. Contrary to what was found for DNA duplex (DNA(2)), no clear convergence is found for the RNA duplex (RNA(2)), but one of the force field seems to agree better with experimental data. MD simulations performed with this force field were used to fully characterize, for the first time to our knowledge, the sequence-dependent elastic properties of RNA duplexes at different levels of resolutions. The flexibility pattern of RNA(2) shows similarities with DNA(2), but also surprising differences, which help us to understand the different biological functions of both molecules. A full mesoscopic model of RNA duplex at different resolution levels is derived to be used for genome-wide description of the flexibility of double-helical fragments of RNA.