Stretching of homopolymeric RNA reveals single-stranded helices and base-stacking

Yeonee Seol, Gary M. Skinner, Koen Visscher, Arnaud Buhot, Avraham Halperin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


We have found strong supporting evidence for the helical structures of single-stranded nucleic acids by stretching individual molecules of polyadenylic acid [poly(A)] and polycytidylic acid [poly(C)]. Analyzing the force versus extension data using a two-state elastic model in which random-coil domains alternate with rigid helical domains allows one to extract the thermodynamic and structural properties. In addition, it also yields moderate to low cooperativity of the helix-coil transition for poly(A) and poly(C), respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number158103
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number15
StatePublished - Apr 12 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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