Ribosomal 5S RNA
dynamic light scattering
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The structures of eukaryotic ribosomal 5S RNA from rat liver and of prokaryotic 5S RNA from E. coli (A-conformer) have been investigated by scattering methods. For both molecules, a molar mass of 44,500±4,000 was determined from small angle X-ray scattering as well as from dynamic light scattering. The shape parameters of the two rRNAs, volume V c, surface O c, radius of gyration R s, maximum dimension of the molecule L, thickness D, and cross section radius of gyration R sq, agree within the experimental error limits. The mean values are V c=57±3 nm3, O c=165±10 nm2, R s=3.37±0.05 nm, L=10.8±0.7 nm, D=1.57±0.07 nm, R sa=0.92±0.01 nm. Identical structures for the E. coli 5S rRNA and the rat liver 5S rRNA at a resolution of 1 nm can be deduced from this agreement and from the comparison of experimental X-ray scattering curves and of experimental electron distance distribution function. The flat shape model derived for prokaryotic and eukaryotic 5S rRNA shows a compact region and two protruding arms. Double helical stems are eleven-fold helices with a mean base pair distance of 0.28 nm. Combining the shape information obtained from X-ray scattering with the information about the frictional behaviour of the molecules, deduced from the diffusion coefficients D 20,w 0 =(5.9±0.2)·10-7 cm2s-1 and (6.2±0.2)·10-7 cm2s-1 for rat liver 5S rRNA and E. coli 5S rRNA, respectively, a solvation shell of about 0.3 nm thickness around both molecules is determined. This structural similarity and the consensus secondary structure pattern derived from comparative sequence analyses suggest that all 5S rRNAs may indeed have conserved essentially the same type of folding of their polynucleotide strands during evolution, despite having very different sequences.
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