Statistics of Landscapes Based on Free Energies, Replication and Degradation Rate Constants of RNA Secondary Structures

Walter Fontana, Thomas Griesmacher, Wolfgang Schnabl, Peter F Stadler, Peter Schuster

RNA secondary structures are computed from primary sequences by means of a folding algorithm which uses a minimum free energy criterion. Free energies as well as replication and degradation rate constants are derived from secondary structures. These properties can be understood as highly sophisticated functions of the individual sequences whose values are mediated by the secondary structures. Such functions induce complex value landscapes on the space of sequences. The landscapes are analysed by random walk techniques, in particular autocorrelation functions and correlation lengths are computed. Free energy landscapes were found to be of AR(1) type. The rate constant landscapes, however, turned out to be more complex. In addition, gradient and adaptive walks are performed in order to get more insight into the complex structure of the landscapes.
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