Large, multidomain RNA molecules are generally thought to fold following multiple pathways down rugged landscapes populated with intermediates and traps. A challenge to understanding RNA folding reactions is the complex relationships that exist between the structure of the RNA and its folding landscape. The identification of intermediate species that populate folding landscapes and characterization of elements of their structures are the key components to solving the RNA folding problem. This review explores recent studies that characterize the dominant pathways by which RNA folds, structural and dynamic features of intermediates that populate the folding landscape, and the energy barriers that separate the distinct steps of the folding process.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry