Indexed on: 15 Mar '15Published on: 15 Mar '15Published in: Current Opinion in Structural Biology
Conformational dynamics is a hallmark of diverse non-coding RNA functions. During these functional processes, RNA molecules almost ubiquitously undergo conformational transitions that are tuned to meet distinct structural and kinetic requirements for proper function. A complete mechanistic understanding of RNA function requires comprehensive structural and dynamic knowledge of these complex transitions, which often involve alternative higher-energy conformational states that pose a major challenge for high-resolution structural study by conventional methods. In this review, we describe recent progress in RNA NMR that has started to unveil detailed structural, thermodynamic and kinetic insights into some of these excited conformational states of RNA and their functional roles in biology.