Foundry users, working with staff, have developed a method known as RNA origami, which has led to the discovery of design rules and mechanisms for RNA folding.
Significance and Impact
The newly discovered RNA folding method enables the design of artificial RNA nanostructures that can fold from a single RNA strand. This breakthrough paves the way for constructing functional RNA particles for use in RNA-based medicine.
- The research team employed the RNA origami technique to design RNA nanostructures, which were characterized using cryo-electron microscopy and tomography.
- Cryo-EM images of basic shapes revealed a ‘folding trap’ lasting 10 hours, where RNA gets trapped during transcription and is subsequently released.
- To demonstrate the formation of more complex shapes, the researchers combined RNA rectangles and cylinders to create a multi-domain “nanosatellite” shape, which was characterized using the Foundry-developed IPET electron tomography method.
E.K.S. McRae, H.Ø. Rasmussen, J. Liu, A. Bøggild, M.T.A. Nguyen, N.S. Vallina, T. Boesen, J. Skov Pedersen, G. Ren, C. Geary, E. Sloth Andersen. Nat. Nanotechnol. 2023. DOI: 10.1038/s41565-023-01321-6
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