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Nucleic Acids Res. 2013 Jan 7;41(1):e30. doi: 10.1093/nar/gks964. Epub 2012 Oct 18.

Mesoscopic model parametrization of hydrogen bonds and stacking interactions of RNA from melting temperatures.

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Departamento de FĂ­sica, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, 31270-901 Belo Horizonte-MG, Brazil.


Information about molecular interactions in DNA can be obtained from experimental melting temperature data by using mesoscopic statistical physics models. Here, we extend the technique to RNA and show that the new parameters correctly reproduce known properties such as the stronger hydrogen bonds of AU base pairs. We also were able to calculate a complete set of elastic constants for all 10 irreducible combinations of nearest neighbours (NNs). We believe that this is particularly useful as experimentally derived information about RNA elasticity is relatively scarce. The melting temperature prediction using the present model improves over those from traditional NN model, providing thus an alternative way to calculate these temperatures for RNA. Additionally, we calculated the site-dependent base pair oscillation to explain why RNA shows larger oscillation amplitudes despite having stronger AU hydrogen bonds.

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