Encyclopedia of Biophysics

2013 Edition
| Editors: Gordon C. K. Roberts

Modeling of RNA Molecules

  • David Dufour
  • Marc A. Marti-Renom
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-16712-6_154




Modeling of Ribo-Nucleic Acid (RNA) molecules is the determination/prediction of secondary and tertiary RNA structures by using experimental or theoretical approaches.


Until recently, RNA has been considered a transfer molecule in the genetic information flow process. However, the myriad of noncoding RNAs recently discovered has shown a plethora of new functions that are now attributed to it. These functions include among others biological catalysis (e.g., ribozymes), gene regulation (e.g., micro-RNAs), or host defense (e.g., small interfering RNAs). Knowledge of the secondary and tertiary structures of such RNA molecules will provide insights on the molecular mechanisms of their diverse functions. X-Ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and single-particle electron microscopy are the main biophysical techniques used for determining RNA secondary and/or tertiary structures. Moreover, theoretical approaches are now...

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Copyright information

© European Biophysical Societies' Association (EBSA) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Structural Genomics GroupNational Center for Genomic Analysis (CNAG)BarcelonaSpain