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Methods Mol Biol. 2011;703:67-86. doi: 10.1007/978-1-59745-248-9_6.

Web-based tools for studying RNA structure and function.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Public Health, Gen∗NY∗Sis Center for Excellence in Cancer Genomics, University at Albany-SUNY, Rensselaer, NY, USA.


Like protein coding sequences, functional motifs in RNA elements are frequently conserved, but this conservation is most often at the structure level rather than sequence based. Proper characterization of these structural RNA motifs is both the key and the limiting step to understanding the nature of RNA-protein interactions. The discovery of elements targeted by RNA-binding proteins and how they function remains one of the most active, yet elusive areas of RNA biology. Only a limited number of these elements have been well characterized with many of the fundamental rules yet to be discovered. Here we present a comprehensive list of web based resources that can be used in the study and identification of RNA-based structural and regulatory motifs and provide a survey of the informatic resources that can have been developed to facilitate this research.

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