Coat proteins of tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) recognize the sequence of AAG on RNA at the initiation of assembly and then bind to any nucleotides during elongation. To understand the molecular mechanism of such specific and non-specific interactions, we studied the elementary interaction patterns by using model crystals which contain amino-acid side chains and nucleic-acid bases. It was found that the carboxyl group tends to form a double hydrogen bond to all kinds of bases at the sites where Watson-Crick type pairing usually occurs. This common structural feature is effective to non-specific binding, because there is no need to move largely for polypeptide chain. Hydrogen bond energies calculated by molecular orbital methods indicate the strongest interaction with guanine in the order of G > C ≅ A > U ≅ T. These data, together with other elementary interactions, are then applied successfully to construct a binding model of the coat proteins with RNA. Reassembly experiments of TMV using di- and tri-nucleotides supported the model.
Understanding of the physical and chemical properties of silicate melts in terms of the molecular structures is a fundamental problem for geology, glass science and steel making process. In this paper, examples of recent applications of 17O, 29Si, 27Al NMR to silicate glasses and melts up to 1400°C are described to show problems and present level of understanding.
Single crystals of smectite have been synthesized by quenching a hydrous melt at very high pressure and temperatures (e.g.5.5 GPa and 1600t) . The starting material was a glass with composition of a dehydrated smectite. A dominant phase of the quenched products was smectite identified by X-ray diffraction before and after intercalation of ethyleneglycol. Thin fragments of the smectite cleaved by water for electron microscopic observation were single crystals in the forms of extremely thin ribbons, laths and plates having partly hexagonal edges.
Recent studies have been reviewed on the thermal properties of the new substance C60. Molecular motion and phase tansition phenomena are discussed in detail focusing attention on the effects of the solvents remaining in the sample.