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Nucleic Acids Res. 2010 Apr;38(7):2453-66. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkp1067. Epub 2010 Jan 4.

Tfold: efficient in silico prediction of non-coding RNA secondary structures.

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IBISC laboratory CNRS FRE 3190, University of Evry/Genopole, 91000 Evry, France.


Predicting RNA secondary structures is a very important task, and continues to be a challenging problem, even though several methods and algorithms are proposed in the literature. In this article, we propose an algorithm called Tfold, for predicting non-coding RNA secondary structures. Tfold takes as input a RNA sequence for which the secondary structure is searched and a set of aligned homologous sequences. It combines criteria of stability, conservation and covariation in order to search for stems and pseudoknots (whatever their type). Stems are searched recursively, from the most to the least stable. Tfold uses an algorithm called SSCA for selecting the most appropriate sequences from a large set of homologous sequences (taken from a database for example) to use for the prediction. Tfold can take into account one or several stems considered by the user as belonging to the secondary structure. Tfold can return several structures (if requested by the user) when 'rival' stems are found. Tfold has a complexity of O(n(2)), with n the sequence length. The developed software, which offers several different uses, is available on the web site:

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