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FEBS Lett. 2007 Nov 13;581(27):5307-14. Epub 2007 Oct 24.

Probing the conformation of human tRNA(3)(Lys) in solution by NMR.

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Department of Structural Biology, D105A Fairchild Building, 299 Campus Drive West, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5126, USA.


Human tRNA(3)(Lys) acts as a primer for the reverse transcription of human immunodeficiency virus genomic RNA. To form an initiation complex with genomic RNA, tRNA(3)(Lys) must reorganize its secondary structure. To provide a starting point for mechanistic studies of the formation of the initiation complex, we here present solution NMR investigations of human tRNA(3)(Lys). We use a straightforward set of NMR experiments to show that tRNA(3)(Lys) adopts a standard transfer ribonucleic acid tertiary structure in solution, and that Mg(2+) is required for this folding. The results underscore the power of NMR to reveal rapidly the conformation of RNAs.

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