MARNA: multiple alignment and consensus structure prediction of RNAs based on sequence structure comparisons


MOTIVATION Due to the importance of considering secondary structures in aligning functional RNAs, several pairwise sequence-structure alignment methods have been developed. They use extended alignment scores that evaluate secondary structure information in addition to sequence information. However, two problems for the multiple alignment step remain. First, how to combine pairwise sequence-structure alignments into a multiple alignment and second, how to generate secondary structure information for sequences whose explicit structural information is missing. RESULTS We describe a novel approach for multiple alignment of RNAs (MARNA) taking into consideration both the primary and the secondary structures. It is based on pairwise sequence-structure comparisons of RNAs. From these sequence-structure alignments, libraries of weighted alignment edges are generated. The weights reflect the sequential and structural conservation. For sequences whose secondary structures are missing, the libraries are generated by sampling low energy conformations. The libraries are then processed by the T-Coffee system, which is a consistency based multiple alignment method. Furthermore, we are able to extract a consensus-sequence and -structure from a multiple alignment. We have successfully tested MARNA on several datasets taken from the Rfam database.

DOI: 10.1093/bioinformatics/bti550

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@article{Siebert2005MARNAMA, title={MARNA: multiple alignment and consensus structure prediction of RNAs based on sequence structure comparisons}, author={Sven Siebert and Rolf Backofen}, journal={Bioinformatics}, year={2005}, volume={21 16}, pages={3352-9} }