An atomic mutation cycle for exploring RNA's 2′-hydroxyl group

James L. Hougland, Shirshendu K. Deb, Danijela Maric, Joseph A. Piccirilli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The 2′-hydroxyl group fulfills numerous structural and functional roles in RNA, including those of hydrogen bond donor and acceptor. While loss of function upon 2′-deoxynucleotide substitution establishes the importance of specific 2′-hydroxyl groups within RNA, this approach provides no information about how these hydroxyl groups impart their functional contribution. We use an atomic mutation cycle to evaluate the functional importance of the 2′-hydroxyl group's hydrogen atom. Using the Tetrahymena ribozyme reaction, we challenge the cycle to expose the catalytic contribution of the cleavage site 2′-hydroxyl group and its associated hydrogen bond network. The results establish the viability of this cycle as an approach to reveal 2′-hydroxyl groups that donate functionally significant hydrogen bonds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13578-13579
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number42
StatePublished - Oct 27 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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