Present and future of NMR for RNA–protein complexes: A perspective of integrated structural biology

Journal of Magnetic Resonance


Nucleic acids are gaining enormous importance as key molecules in almost all biological processes. Most nucleic acids do not act in isolation but are generally associated with proteins to form high-molecular-weight nucleoprotein complexes. In this perspective article I focus on the structural studies of supra-molecular ribonucleoprotein (RNP) assemblies in solution by a combination of state-of-the-art TROSY-based NMR experiments and other structural biology techniques. I discuss ways how to combine sparse NMR data with low-resolution structural information from small-angle scattering, fluorescence and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy to obtain the structure of large RNP particles by an integrated structural biology approach. In the last section I give a perspective for the study of RNP complexes by solid-state NMR.