Oxfold: kinetic folding of RNA using stochastic context-free grammars and evolutionary information

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Many computational methods for RNA secondary structure prediction, and, in particular, for the prediction of a consensus structure of an alignment of RNA sequences, have been developed. Most methods, however, ignore biophysical factors, such as the kinetics of RNA folding; no current implementation considers both evolutionary information and folding kinetics, thus losing information that, when considered, might lead to better predictions.


We present an iterative algorithm, Oxfold, in the framework of stochastic context-free grammars, that emulates the kinetics of RNA folding in a simplified way, in combination with a molecular evolution model. This method improves considerably on existing grammatical models that do not consider folding kinetics. Additionally, the model compares favourably to non-kinetic thermodynamic models.





Supplementary information:

Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

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