UNIT 12.1 An Overview of RNA Structure Prediction

  1. Gary D. Stormo

Published Online: 1 FEB 2004

DOI: 10.1002/0471250953.bi1201s04

Current Protocols in Bioinformatics

Current Protocols in Bioinformatics

How to Cite

Stormo, G. D. 2004. An Overview of RNA Structure Prediction. Current Protocols in Bioinformatics. 12:12.1.

Author Information

  1. Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 FEB 2004
  2. Published Print: DEC 2003

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This unit briefly describes the two fundamentally different methods for predicting RNA structures. The first is to find that structure with the minimum free energy of folding, as predicted by various thermodynamic parameters related to base-pair stacking, loop lengths, and other features. If one has only a single sequence, this thermodynamic approach is the best available method. The second fundamental approach to RNA structure prediction is to use multiple, homologous sequences for which one can infer a common structure, and then try and predict a structure common to all of the sequences. Such an approach is referred to as a comparative method or phylogenetic method of RNA structure prediction.