Mechanical properties of tau pre-mRNA splice site hairpin and its mutants
Date of Issue2017-05-19
School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
Understanding the behavior of RNA during the translation and other processes becomes more and more important today since knowledge of biological functions of RNA has increased rapidly. In the last few decades the development of technologies makes the single molecules manipulation much more convenient and precise, which makes it possible to investigate the relationship between these bio-functions and conformational dynamics of RNA. In this research we mainly focus on studying tau pre-mRNA splice site hairpin and some of its mutants using optical tweezers. Single tau pre-mRNA molecules are combined with DNA/RNA hybrid handles, which can be stretched with optical tweezers, measuring the tiny force around 20 picoNewtons (pN). In this part, we constructed the tau pre-mRNA splice site hairpin flanked by DNA/RNA hybrid handles for single-molecule pulling experiment. Applying Extensible Worm-Like Chain (EWLC) model, we compared the difference of mechanical properties between wild type tau pre-mRNA and some of its mutants, revealing the difference in conformational dynamics between wild type tau pre-mRNA and its mutants.