Area C: Mechanisms and Tools

Project C09 – What defines the structure of tRNA? The role of epigenetic modifications and electrostatics quantified by NMR spectroscopy and theory

Transfer RNA (tRNA) undergoes substantial post-transcriptional modifications and the polyanionic phosphate backbone strongly interacts with water molecules and ions in the solvation shell. This project addresses by NMR spectroscopy and theoretical simulations the interplay of epigenetic modifications and ionic interactions in defining the structure, dynamics and the electrostatic potential of tRNAPhe . By quantifying the dynamic nature and ion residence times, the work aims to establish a comprehensive understanding of RNA-ion interactions and the factors that determine structure and electrostatic properties.