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Viral RNAs are unusually compact

TitleViral RNAs are unusually compact
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsGopal, A, Egecioglu, DE, Yoffe, AM, Ben-Shaul, A, Rao, ALN, Knobler, CM, Gelbart, WM

A majority of viruses are composed of long single-stranded genomic RNA molecules encapsulated by protein shells with diameters of just a few tens of nanometers. We examine the extent to which these viral RNAs have evolved to be physically compact molecules to facilitate encapsulation. Measurements of equal-length viral, non-viral, coding and non-coding RNAs show viral RNAs to have among the smallest sizes in solution, ie, the highest gel-electrophoretic mobilities and the smallest hydrodynamic radii. Using graph- ...

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