Chemical footprinting methods are widely used to probe the solution structures of nucleic acids and their complexes. Among the many available modifying reagents, hydroxyl radical is exceptional in its ability to provide nucleotide-level information on the solvent accessibility of the nucleic acid backbone. Until recently, hydroxyl radical footprinting has been limited to in vitro experiments. We describe the use of synchrotron X-radiation to generate hydroxyl radicals within cells for effective footprinting of RNA-protein complexes in vivo. This technique gives results that are consistent with in vitro footprinting experiments, with differences reflecting apparent structural changes to the RNA in vivo.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology