Fourteen RNA hairpins containing a four-membered loop and a bulge nucleotide were synthesized and their thermal stabilities determined. The combined contribution of a four-membered loop and bulge A to the free energy of a hairpin is calculated to be 9.3 kcal/mol at 37 °C and successfully predicts the stability of an independent RNA hairpin. The introduction of a bulge nucleotide to the helical stem of an RNA hairpin destabilizes the molecule in a sequence-dependent manner. The individual thermodynamic contributions of a four-membered loop and bulge A, G, and U residues to the stability of an RNA hairpin loop are presented.
ASJC Scopus subject areas