Structures of Artificially Designed RNA Nanoarchitectures at Near-Atomic Resolution

06 October 2020, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Though advances in nanotechnology have enabled the construction of synthetic nucleic acid based nanoarchitectures with ever-increasing complexity for various applications, high-resolution structures are lacking due to the difficulty of obtaining good diffracting crystals. Here we report the design of RNA nanostructures based on homooligomerizable tiles from an RNA single-strand for X-ray determination. Three structures are solved to near-atomic resolution: a 2D parallelogram, an unexpectedly formed 3D nanobracelet, and a 3D nanocage. Structural details of their constituent motifs—such as kissing loops, branched kissing-loops and T-junctions—that resemble natural RNA motifs and resisted X-ray determination are revealed. This work unveils the largely unexplored potential of crystallography in gaining high-resolution feedback for nanostructure design and suggests a novel route to investigate RNA motif structures by configuring them into nanoarchitectures.


X-ray structures
Self assembly

Supplementary materials

RNA crystal SI


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