New developments cause small structural changes in biomolecules, Just as part of a matching puzzle, the hypoxanthine molecule binds to the ribonucleic acid chain (RNA), which then changes three-dimensional shapes in a second and triggers a new process in the cell.

Now researchers can trace almost unimaginably small structural changes in cells that develop both temporally and spatially. the New developments cause small structural changes in biomolecules.

The research team Biomolecular Magnetic Resonance Imaging has accelerated the nuclear magnetic resonance method (NMR) for the RNA test a hundred thousand times.

In this way, we can first follow the dynamics of structural changes in RNA at the same rate at which they occur in cells, according to researchers.

A new type of NMR experiment uses water molecules, atoms that can be traced in a magnetic field. Schwalbe and his team produce hyperpolarization water. For this purpose, they added compounds to water that permanently contained unpaired electronic radicals. small structural changes in biomolecules.

Electrons can be aligned in a magnetic field with microwave excitation at -271 ° C. This unnatural alignment causes the polarization to be transferred at +36 ° C to the polarization of the hydrogen atom used in NMR. Polarized water molecules are heated for several milliseconds and transferred together with hypoxanthine to the RNA strand.

New approaches can generally be used to monitor rapid chemical reactions and to multiply changes in biomolecules at the atomic level.

In particular, the RNA amino group can be analyzed precisely by this method. In this way, researchers have been able to evaluate structural changes in RNA very precisely. They follow a small piece of RNA from Bacillus subtilis which changes its structure during the binding of hypoxanthine.

This structural change is part of the regulation of the transcription process, in which RNA consists of DNA.

Such small changes at the molecular level control a large number of processes not only in bacteria, but also in multicellular organisms and even in humans.

This improved method will make it possible to monitor RNA reloads in real time in the future, even if it takes less than a second. This is possible under physiological conditions, namely in a liquid medium and with a concentration of natural molecules at a temperature of around 36 ° C.

The next step now is to examine not only individual RNAs, but hundreds of them, to identify important biological differences in the speed of their rewrites, the researchers said.