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Nature. 2012 Feb 15;482(7385):322-30. doi: 10.1038/nature10885.

Functional complexity and regulation through RNA dynamics.

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Department of Chemistry and Biophysics, The University of Michigan, 930 North University Avenue, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1055, USA.


Changes to the conformation of coding and non-coding RNAs form the basis of elements of genetic regulation and provide an important source of complexity, which drives many of the fundamental processes of life. Although the structure of RNA is highly flexible, the underlying dynamics of RNA are robust and are limited to transitions between the few conformations that preserve favourable base-pairing and stacking interactions. The mechanisms by which cellular processes harness the intrinsic dynamic behaviour of RNA and use it within functionally productive pathways are complex. The versatile functions and ease by which it is integrated into a wide variety of genetic circuits and biochemical pathways suggests there is a general and fundamental role for RNA dynamics in cellular processes.

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