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Methods to Detect and Characterize Metal Ion Binding Sites in RNA

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Review article (peer-reviewed)
Author Erat Michele C., Sigel Roland K. O.,
Project Coordination Chemistry within the Core of Large RNAs: Regulating Tertiary Contacts and Function
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Review article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Metal Ions in Life Sciences
Volume (Issue) 9(37)
Page(s) 100
Title of proceedings Metal Ions in Life Sciences
DOI 10.1039/978184973251200037


Metal ions are inextricably associated with RNAs of any size and control their folding and activity to a large part. In order to understand RNA mechanisms, also the positioning, affinities and kinetics of metal ion binding must be known. Due to the spectroscopic silence and relatively fast exchange rates of the metal ions usually associated with RNAs, this task is extremely challenging and thus numerous methods have been developed and applied in the past. Here we provide an overview over the different metal ions and methods applied in RNA (bio)chemistry: The physical-chemical properties of important metal ions are presented and briefly discussed with respect to their application together with RNA. Each method ranging from spectroscopic over biochemical to computational approaches is briefly described also mentioning caveats that might occur during the experiment and/or interpretation of the results.