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Title: Free energy of RNA-counterion interactions in a tight-binding model computed by a discrete space mapping

The thermodynamic stability of a folded RNA is intricately tied to the counterions and the free energy of this interaction must be accounted for in any realistic RNA simulations. Extending a tight-binding model published previously, in this paper we investigate the fundamental structure of charges arising from the interaction between small functional RNA molecules and divalent ions such as Mg{sup 2+} that are especially conducive to stabilizing folded conformations. The characteristic nature of these charges is utilized to construct a discretely connected energy landscape that is then traversed via a novel application of a deterministic graph search technique. This search method can be incorporated into larger simulations of small RNA molecules and provides a fast and accurate way to calculate the free energy arising from the interactions between an RNA and divalent counterions. The utility of this algorithm is demonstrated within a fully atomistic Monte Carlo simulation of the P4-P6 domain of the Tetrahymena group I intron, in which it is shown that the counterion-mediated free energy conclusively directs folding into a compact structure.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Department of Chemistry, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089 (United States)
  2. (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22420017
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 141; Journal Issue: 6; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; FREE ENERGY; INTERACTIONS; MOLECULES; MONTE CARLO METHOD; RNA; TETRAHYMENA