Small-Angle Neutron Scattering of RNA–Protein Complexes
Methods in Molecular Biology
Small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) provides structural information on biomacromolecules and their complexes in dilute solutions at the nanometer length scale. The overall dimensions, shapes, and interactions can be probed and compared to information obtained by complementary structural biology techniques such as crystallography, NMR, and EM. SANS, in combination with solvent H2O/D2O exchange and/or deuteration, is particularly well suited to probe the internal structure of RNA–protein (RNP) complexes since neutrons are more sensitive than X-rays to the difference in scattering length densities of proteins and RNA, with respect to an aqueous solvent. In this book chapter we provide a practical guide on how to carry out SANS experiments on RNP complexes, as well as possibilities of data analysis and interpretation.