RNAiFold: a web server for RNA inverse folding and molecular design

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Abstract

Synthetic biology and nanotechnology are poised to make revolutionary contributions to the 21st century. In this article, we describe a new web server to supportin silicoRNA molecular design. Given an input target RNA secondary structure, together with optional constraints, such as requiring GC-content to lie within a certain range, requiring the number of strong (GC), weak (AU) and wobble (GU) base pairs to lie in a certain range, the RNAiFold web server determines one or more RNA sequences, whose minimum free-energy secondary structure is the target structure. RNAiFold provides access to two servers: RNA-CPdesign, which applies constraint programming, and RNA-LNSdesign, which applies the large neighborhood search heuristic; hence, it is suitable for larger input structures. Both servers can also solve the RNA inverse hybridization problem, i.e. given a representation of the desired hybridization structure, RNAiFold returns two sequences, whose minimum free-energy hybridization is the input target structure. The web server is publicly accessible athttp://bioinformatics.bc.edu/clotelab/RNAiFold, which provides access to two specialized servers: RNA-CPdesign and RNA-LNSdesign. Source code for the underlying algorithms, implemented in COMET and supported on linux, can be downloaded at the server website.

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