This publication summarizes the current status of our understanding of RNA, with particular emphasis on the chemistry of this key biological molecule. The various RNAs covered are messenger RNA, ribosomal RNA, transfer RNA and RNA enzymes (ribozymes). The different chapters detail biophysical and chemical methods to investigate RNA structure and function, the synthesis of native and modified RNAs and the latest advances in our understanding of the vast array of biological processes in which RNA is involved.
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Table of ContentsPaper headings. A spectroscopist's view of RNA conformation: RNA structural motifs. Thermodynamics of RNA secondary structure formation. RNA structures determined by X-ray crystallography. RNA conformational dynamics. Classical and novel chemical tools for RNA structure probing. Chemical RNA synthesis (including RNA with unusual constituents). The phosphoryl transfer reactions in pre-messenger RNA splicing. RNA editing. Ribonuclease P. Ribozyme selection. Ribozyme enzymology. Viroids. Structural elements of ribosomal RNA. Turnover of mRNA in eukaryotic cells. Applications of ribonucleotide analogues in RNA biochemistry. RNA in biotechnology: towards a role for ribozymes in gene therapy. Appendix: Modified nucleosides from RNA.