Site-Specific Spin Labeling of RNA for NMR and EPR Structural Studies

  • Bertrand VilenoEmail author
  • Isabelle LebarsEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2113)


Many RNA architectures were discovered to be involved in essential biological pathways acting as catalysts and/or regulators of gene expression, transcription, translation, splicing, or viral infection. The key to understand their diverse biological functions is to investigate their structure and dynamic. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) is a powerful method to gain insight into these properties. However, the study of high-molecular-weight RNAs by NMR remains challenging. Advances in biochemical and NMR methods over the recent years allow to overcome the limitation of NMR. In particular, the incorporation of paramagnetic probes, coupled to the measurement of the induced effects on nuclear spins, has become an efficient tool providing long-range distance restraints and information on dynamic in solution. At the same time, the use of spin label enabled the application of Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) to study biological macromolecules. Combining NMR and EPR is emerging as a new approach to investigate the architecture of biological systems.

Here, we describe an efficient protocol to introduce a paramagnetic probe into a RNA at a specific position. This method enables various combinations of isotopic labeling for NMR and is also of interest for EPR studies.

Key words

RNA NMR EPR Paramagnetic Spin-label 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire des Propriétés Optiques et Magnétiques des Architectures MoléculairesInstitut de Chimie (UMR7177) Université de Strasbourg / CNRSStrasbourgFrance
  2. 2.French EPR Federation of Research (REseau NAtional de Rpe interDisciplinaire (RENARD), Fédération IR-RPE CNRS #3443)StrasbourgFrance
  3. 3.Architecture et Réactivité de l’ARN - CNRS UPR 9002Institut de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, Université de StrasbourgStrasbourgFrance

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