Nucleotide analog interference mapping (NAIM) can be used to simultaneously, yet individually, identify structurally or catalytically important functional groups within an RNA molecule. Phosphorothioate-tagged nucleotides and nucleotide analogs are randomly incorporated into an RNA of interest by in vitro transcription. The phosphorothioate tag marks the site of substitution and identifies sites at which the modification affects the structure or function of the RNA molecule. This technique has been expanded to include identification of hydrogen bonding pairs (NAIS), ionizable functional groups, metal ion ligands, and the energetics of protein binding (QNAIM). The analogs, techniques, and data analysis used in NAIM are described here.
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