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Nucleic Acids Res. 2012 Feb;40(3):1307-17. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkr804. Epub 2011 Oct 5.

Clustering RNA structural motifs in ribosomal RNAs using secondary structural alignment.

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1
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816, USA.

Abstract

RNA structural motifs are the building blocks of the complex RNA architecture. Identification of non-coding RNA structural motifs is a critical step towards understanding of their structures and functionalities. In this article, we present a clustering approach for de novo RNA structural motif identification. We applied our approach on a data set containing 5S, 16S and 23S rRNAs and rediscovered many known motifs including GNRA tetraloop, kink-turn, C-loop, sarcin-ricin, reverse kink-turn, hook-turn, E-loop and tandem-sheared motifs, with higher accuracy than the state-of-the-art clustering method. We also identified a number of potential novel instances of GNRA tetraloop, kink-turn, sarcin-ricin and tandem-sheared motifs. More importantly, several novel structural motif families have been revealed by our clustering analysis. We identified a highly asymmetric bulge loop motif that resembles the rope sling. We also found an internal loop motif that can significantly increase the twist of the helix. Finally, we discovered a subfamily of hexaloop motif, which has significantly different geometry comparing to the currently known hexaloop motif. Our discoveries presented in this article have largely increased current knowledge of RNA structural motifs.

PMID:
21976732
PMCID:
PMC3273805
DOI:
10.1093/nar/gkr804
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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