Chemical probing experiments such as SHAPE are routinely used to probe RNA molecules. In this work, we use atomistic molecular dynamics simulations to test the hypothesis that binding of RNA with SHAPE reagents is affected by cooperative effects leading to an observed reactivity that is dependent on the reagent concentration. We develop a general technique that enables the calculation of the affinity for arbitrary molecules as a function of their concentration in the grand-canonical ensemble. Our simulations of an RNA structural motif suggest that, at the concentration typically used in SHAPE experiments, cooperative binding would lead to a measurable concentration-dependent reactivity. We also provide a qualitative validation of this statement by analyzing a new set of experiments collected at different reagent concentrations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry