RNA Structure and Dynamics
ALISHA (JONESY) JONES
RNA secondary and tertiary structure is central to the regulation of numerous biological processes, but it doesn’t always get the spotlight it deserves. As of 2022, there are approximately 1,600 RNA structures in the Protein Data Bank; this is just a fraction of the near 160,000 protein structures that have been published to date. The size, intrinsic flexibility and conformational dynamics of RNA structure make it difficult to study by standard approaches (i.e., NMR, x-ray crystallography, and cryo-EM). That’s why our research group focuses on developing and applying biophysical and biochemical approaches to make it easier to study RNA structure and dynamics. Once we harness the molecular details associated with how an RNA is structured, we improve our ability to link it to the biological processes it regulates, and therapeutically target it when it is implicated in disease.