RNA seeing double: Close-packing of helices in RNA tertiary structure
Structured RNA molecules play essential roles in RNA processing, chromosome maintenance and protein biosynthesis. RNA necessarily uses different strategies than proteins for folding and assembly of complex architectures. The RNA-folding problem is largely an issue of helical packing: how does RNA organize and pack short, double-helical segments to produce active sites and recognition motifs for proteins? Noncanonical base pairs, metal ions and 2′-hydroxyl groups are key elements in RNA higher-order structure formation.