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12/18/2014 - SFLC : IPiB ParTea Time at the Sett
 
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Butcher Lab - How RNA structures assemble
The GAAA tetraloop receptor is an RNA tertiary structure motif that is often found in large catalytic RNA molecules (ribozymes).  We have solved the NMR structure of a GAAA tetraloop containing RNA bound to its receptor.  The tetraloop receptor interaction results in a homodimeric RNA assembly, with two helices packed side-by-side (one in blue, the other green).  The positions of magnesium ions (magenta spheres) interacting with the RNA were also determined experimentally using NMR.  The magnesium ions are very important for RNA folding, because they shield the electrostatic repulsion of the negatively charged phosphodiester backbone.   For further reading, see: Davis et al., 2005. J. Mol. Biol. 351(2), 371-382; and Davis et al., 2007.  RNA 13(1), 76-86.

The goal of the Butcher lab is to determine how RNA structures regulate gene expression.   We use a variety of biophysical and molecular biological methods in our investigations, with a strong emphasis in NMR spectroscopy.

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