Nucleic acid structure
- radius: 100 nm
- pitch: 340 nm/turn
- minor groove angle: 137.5078°
- Twist angle of 34.7°
- frequency: 10.4 bases/turn
- The roll and tilt angles vary by a few degrees depending on the basepairs. The dinucleotide AA (or TT) causes significant variations in the roll and tilt angles
The extra 2'-OH usually prevents formation of the B-form helix found in DNA.
- 11 bases/turn
- The basepair stacks are tilted and displaced with respect to the axis of the helix
RNA is normally assumed by folding algorithms to fold without pseudoknots. A non-pseudoknotted structure in parenthesis format would close all parenthesis in order, i.e. [()]. A pseudoknot has the form [(]). In a pseudoknot, the knotted region the "()" pairing cannot exceed 9 or 10 basepairs. This constraint is because of the helical structure of RNA which forms 10 or 11 basepairs per turn. With a full turn, the two strands of the pseudoknot would form a true knot which is physically and biologically unrealistic.
At the melting temperature, Tm, 2[duplex] = [single − strand] and from conservation of total RNA, 2[duplex] + [single − strand] = [RNA]total. From this, we can derive that: