Dynamic Light Scattering Analysis on RNA Associated to Proteins

Methods Mol Biol. 2020:2113:31-39. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-0278-2_4.


Dynamic light scattering represents an accurate, robust, and reliable technique to analyze molecule size in solution and monitor their interactions in real time. Here, we describe how to analyze by DLS an RNA-protein interaction. In our frame, we studied complexes formed between RNA fragments derived from the genome of HIV-1 in association with the viral precursor Pr55Gag. These interactions are crucial for the specific selection of the viral genomic RNA (gRNA) from the bulk of the viral spliced and cellular RNAs. This chapter displays how DLS allows to characterize the interactions that regulate the early steps of viral assembly.

Keywords: Diffusion coefficient; Dynamic light scattering; Hydrodynamic radius; Pr55Gag precursor; Protein-RNA interactions; Viral assembly; Viral genomic RNA; Viral spliced RNA.

MeSH terms

  • Dynamic Light Scattering
  • HIV-1 / metabolism
  • HIV-1 / physiology*
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Protein Precursors / metabolism*
  • RNA, Viral / metabolism*
  • Virus Assembly


  • Protein Precursors
  • RNA, Viral
  • p55 gag precursor protein, Human immunodeficiency virus 1