Polymer and Materials Science
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
A linear relationship in each of the torsion angle pairs, α-β, β-∊, ∊-ζ, and α-γ, has been found by applying a statistical method based on the concept of circular variates to backbone torsion angle data of helical in yeast tTNAPhe. A series of helical dimer models generated with these relationships have been found to be stereochemically acceptable, and the models also indicate that the backbone unit in the RNA helix is geometrically capable of an oscillatory motion with the distance of about 3.4 Å between adjacent bases. The motion of the backbone unit is analogous to that of a helical spring. The adjacent bases, because of being attached to the backbone, oscillate in a manner similar to the oscillatory dimer model proposed by Davis and Tinoco [Davis, R. C. & Tinoco, I., Jr. (1968) Biopolymers 6, 223-242]. Here, the oscillation of the backbone unit in the RNA helix is discussed in terms of two geometrical quantities: the torsion (τ) and curvature (κ) of the helix. On these lines, a stereochemical model of RNA strand separation is proposed.
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