First high-resolution RNA ‘nano square’

April 7, 2011

(Credit: UC San Diego)

UC San Diego (UCSD) chemists have produced the first high-resolution nanoscale square made from ribonucleic acid (RNA) — the smallest (at 2.2 Angstroms) yet square-shaped nano-object made entirely of double-stranded RNA.

The RNA “nano square” has potential applications as a combinatorial, self-assembling nanoscale platform for programmed combination of molecular entities that are linked to the corner units, according to Thomas Hermann, an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UCSD.

Ref.: S. M. Dibrov et al., Self-assembling RNA square, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , April 5, 2011 (early online edition)