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Science. 2001 Apr 27;292(5517):733-7.

Reversible unfolding of single RNA molecules by mechanical force.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. jliphard@alice.berkeley.gov

Abstract

Here we use mechanical force to induce the unfolding and refolding of single RNA molecules: a simple RNA hairpin, a molecule containing a three-helix junction, and the P5abc domain of the Tetrahymena thermophila ribozyme. All three molecules (P5abc only in the absence of Mg2+) can be mechanically unfolded at equilibrium, and when kept at constant force within a critical force range, are bi-stable and hop between folded and unfolded states. We determine the force-dependent equilibrium constants for folding/unfolding these single RNA molecules and the positions of their transition states along the reaction coordinate.

PMID:
11326101
DOI:
10.1126/science.1058498
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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