Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Science. 2003 Mar 21;299(5614):1892-5.

Identifying kinetic barriers to mechanical unfolding of the T. thermophila ribozyme.

Author information

1
Department of Physics and Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Abstract

Mechanical unfolding trajectories for single molecules of the Tetrahymena thermophila ribozyme display eight intermediates corresponding to discrete kinetic barriers that oppose mechanical unfolding with lifetimes of seconds and rupture forces between 10 and 30 piconewtons. Barriers are magnesium dependent and correspond to known intra- and interdomain interactions. Several barrier structures are "brittle," breakage requiring high forces but small (1 to 3 nanometers) deformations. Barrier crossing is stochastic, leading to variable unfolding paths. The response of complex RNA structures to locally applied mechanical forces may be analogous to the responses of RNA during translation, messenger RNA export from the nucleus, and viral replication.

PMID:
12649482
PMCID:
PMC1503549
DOI:
10.1126/science.1081338
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center