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Compaction of RNA Duplexes in the Cell

submitted on 24.04.2020, 17:49 and posted on 27.04.2020, 05:49 by Alberto Collauto, Sören von Bülow, Dnyaneshwar B. Gophane, Subham Saha, Lukas S. Stelzl, Gerhard Hummer, Snorri Th. Sigurdsson, Thomas F. Prisner
The structure and flexibility of RNA depend sensitively on the microenvironment. Using pulsed electron-electron double-resonance (PELDOR) spectroscopy combined with advanced labeling techniques, we show that the structure of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) changes upon internalization into Xenopus lævis oocytes. Compared to dilute solution, the dsRNA A-helix is more compact in cells. We recapitulate this compaction in a densely crowded protein solution. Atomic-resolution molecular dynamics simulations of dsRNA capture semi-quantitatively the compaction, and identify non-specific electrostatic interactions between proteins and dsRNA as a possible driver of this effect.


German Research Foundation (CRC902: Molecular Principles of RNA Based Regulation)

Icelandic Research Fund (141062051)

Human Frontier Science Program (RGP0026/2017)


Email Address of Submitting Author


Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, Goethe University Frankfurt



ORCID For Submitting Author


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