Solid-state NMR Spectroscopy of RNA

Methods in Enzymology

Volume name

Biological NMR Part B


RNA structure is essential to understand RNA function and regulation in cellular processes. RNA acts either in isolation or as part of a complex with proteins. Both isolated and protein-complexed RNA represent a challenge for structural biology, due to the complexity of its conformational space and intrinsic dynamics. NMR, with its capability to cope with dynamic structures, is the optimal technique to study RNA conformation, ideally in solution. However, RNA–protein complexes are often very large, which limits the application of solution-state NMR. In this chapter we describe the methodology that we developed to determine the structure of RNA by solid-state NMR. Solid-state NMR is not limited by large molecular weights and can be optimally applied to study both the RNA and the protein components of large RNA–protein complexes. We review the methods for resonance assignments, collection of RNA-specific distance restraints, as well as detection of protein–RNA interfaces.