Inst. f. Informatik   
Uni Leipzig

Bioinformatics Preprint 03-013

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Modeling RNA Folding

Ivo L. Hofacker, Peter F. Stadler

To Appear In:
Complex Systems in Biomedicine
edited by Thomas S Deisboeck, J. Yasha Kresh, and Thomas B Kepler.


In recent years it has become evident that functional RNAs in living organisms are not just curious remnants from a primoridal RNA world but an ubiquitous phenomenon complementing protein enzyme based activity. Functional RNAs, just like proteins, depend in many cases upon their well-defined and evolutionarily conserved three-dimensional structure. In contrast to protein folds, however, RNA molecules have a biophysically important coarse-grained representation: their secondary structure. At this level of resolution at least, RNA structures can be efficiently predicted given only the sequence information. As a consequence, computational studies of RNA routinely incorporate structural information explicitly. RNA secondary structure prediction has proven useful in diverse fields ranging from theoretical models of sequence evolution and biopolymer folding, to genome analysis and even the design biotechnologically or pharmaceutically useful molecules. Keywords:
Functional RNA, Non-Coding RNA, RNA Secondary Structure Prediction, Conserved RNA Structures

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Last modified: 2003-06-12 15:07:00 studla