rna secondary structure
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2022 ◽  
Vol 4 (1) ◽  
Warren B Rouse ◽  
Ryan J Andrews ◽  
Nicholas J Booher ◽  
Jibo Wang ◽  
Michael E Woodman ◽  

ABSTRACT In recent years, interest in RNA secondary structure has exploded due to its implications in almost all biological functions and its newly appreciated capacity as a therapeutic agent/target. This surge of interest has driven the development and adaptation of many computational and biochemical methods to discover novel, functional structures across the genome/transcriptome. To further enhance efforts to study RNA secondary structure, we have integrated the functional secondary structure prediction tool ScanFold, into IGV. This allows users to directly perform structure predictions and visualize results—in conjunction with probing data and other annotations—in one program. We illustrate the utility of this new tool by mapping the secondary structural landscape of the human MYC precursor mRNA. We leverage the power of vast ‘omics’ resources by comparing individually predicted structures with published data including: biochemical structure probing, RNA binding proteins, microRNA binding sites, RNA modifications, single nucleotide polymorphisms, and others that allow functional inferences to be made and aid in the discovery of potential drug targets. This new tool offers the RNA community an easy to use tool to find, analyze, and characterize RNA secondary structures in the context of all available data, in order to find those worthy of further analyses.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
Jake M. Peterson ◽  
Collin A. O’Leary ◽  
Walter N. Moss

AbstractInfluenza virus is a persistent threat to human health; indeed, the deadliest modern pandemic was in 1918 when an H1N1 virus killed an estimated 50 million people globally. The intent of this work is to better understand influenza from an RNA-centric perspective to provide local, structural motifs with likely significance to the influenza infectious cycle for therapeutic targeting. To accomplish this, we analyzed over four hundred thousand RNA sequences spanning three major clades: influenza A, B and C. We scanned influenza segments for local secondary structure, identified/modeled motifs of likely functionality, and coupled the results to an analysis of evolutionary conservation. We discovered 185 significant regions of predicted ordered stability, yet evidence of sequence covariation was limited to 7 motifs, where 3—found in influenza C—had higher than expected amounts of sequence covariation.

Yanwei Qi ◽  
Yuhong Zhang ◽  
Quankai Mu ◽  
Guixing Zheng ◽  
Mengxin Zhang ◽  

The development of Plasmodium parasites, a causative agent of malaria, requests two hosts and the completion of 11 different parasite stages during development. Therefore, an efficient and fast response of parasites to various complex environmental changes, such as ambient temperature, pH, ions, and nutrients, is essential for parasite development and survival. Among many of these environmental changes, temperature is a decisive factor for parasite development and pathogenesis, including the thermoregulation of rRNA expression, gametogenesis, and parasite sequestration in cerebral malaria. However, the exact mechanism of how Plasmodium parasites rapidly respond and adapt to temperature change remains elusive. As a fundamental and pervasive regulator of gene expression, RNA structure can be a specific mechanism for fine tuning various biological processes. For example, dynamic and temperature-dependent changes in RNA secondary structures can control the expression of different gene programs, as shown by RNA thermometers. In this study, we applied the in vitro and in vivo transcriptomic-wide secondary structurome approach icSHAPE to measure parasite RNA structure changes with temperature alteration at single-nucleotide resolution for ring and trophozoite stage parasites. Among 3,000 probed structures at different temperatures, our data showed structural changes in the global transcriptome, such as S-type rRNA, HRPII gene, and the erythrocyte membrane protein family. When the temperature drops from 37°C to 26°C, most of the genes in the trophozoite stage cause significantly more changes to the RNA structure than the genes in the ring stage. A multi-omics analysis of transcriptome data from RNA-seq and RNA structure data from icSHAPE reveals that the specific RNA secondary structure plays a significant role in the regulation of transcript expression for parasites in response to temperature changes. In addition, we identified several RNA thermometers (RNATs) that responded quickly to temperature changes. The possible thermo-responsive RNAs in Plasmodium falciparum were further mapped. To this end, we identified dynamic and temperature-dependent RNA structural changes in the P. falciparum transcriptome and performed a comprehensive characterization of RNA secondary structures over the course of temperature stress in blood stage development. These findings not only contribute to a better understanding of the function of the RNA secondary structure but may also provide novel targets for efficient vaccines or drugs.

2021 ◽  
Saeed Roschdi ◽  
Jenny Yan ◽  
Yuichiro Nomura ◽  
Cristian A Escobar ◽  
Riley J Petersen ◽  

The addition of poly(UG) ("pUG") repeats to 3' termini of mRNAs drives gene silencing and trans-generational epigenetic inheritance in the metazoan C. elegans. pUG tails promote silencing by recruiting an RNA-dependent RNA Polymerase (RdRP) that synthesizes small interfering (si)RNAs. Here we show that active pUG tails require a minimum of 11.5 repeats and adopt a quadruplex (G4)2 structure we term the pUG fold. The pUG fold differs from known G4s in that it has a left-handed backbone similar to Z-RNA, no consecutive guanosines in its sequence, and three G quartets and one U quartet stacked non-sequentially. Its biological importance is emphasized by our observations that porphyrin molecules bind to the pUG fold and inhibit both gene silencing and binding of RdRP. Moreover, specific N7-deaza RNA substitutions that do not adopt the pUG fold neither bind RdRP nor induce RNA silencing. These data define the pUG fold as a previously unrecognized RNA secondary structure motif that drives gene silencing. The pUG fold can also form internally within larger RNA molecules. Approximately 20,000 pUG-fold sequences are found in non-coding regions of human RNAs, suggesting the fold likely has biological roles beyond gene silencing.

2021 ◽  
Vol 22 (23) ◽  
pp. 13021
Sandra M. Fernández-Moya ◽  
Janina Ehses ◽  
Karl E. Bauer ◽  
Rico Schieweck ◽  
Anob M. Chakrabarti ◽  

RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) act as posttranscriptional regulators controlling the fate of target mRNAs. Unraveling how RNAs are recognized by RBPs and in turn are assembled into neuronal RNA granules is therefore key to understanding the underlying mechanism. While RNA sequence elements have been extensively characterized, the functional impact of RNA secondary structures is only recently being explored. Here, we show that Staufen2 binds complex, long-ranged RNA hairpins in the 3′-untranslated region (UTR) of its targets. These structures are involved in the assembly of Staufen2 into RNA granules. Furthermore, we provide direct evidence that a defined Rgs4 RNA duplex regulates Staufen2-dependent RNA localization to distal dendrites. Importantly, disrupting the RNA hairpin impairs the observed effects. Finally, we show that these secondary structures differently affect protein expression in neurons. In conclusion, our data reveal the importance of RNA secondary structure in regulating RNA granule assembly, localization and eventually translation. It is therefore tempting to speculate that secondary structures represent an important code for cells to control the intracellular fate of their mRNAs.

2021 ◽  
Marta Soszynska-Jozwiak ◽  
Ryszard Kierzek ◽  
Elzbieta Kierzek

SARS-CoV-2 belongs the Coronavirinae family. As other coronaviruses, SARS-CoV-2 is enveloped and possesses positive-sense, single-stranded RNA genome of ~30 kb. Genome RNA is used as the template for replication and transcription. During these processes, positive-sense genomic RNA (gRNA) and subgenomic RNAs (sgRNAs) are created. Several studies showed importance of genomic RNA secondary structure in SARS-CoV-2 replication. However, the structure of sgRNAs have remained largely unsolved so far. In this study, we performed probing of sgRNA M of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. This is the first experimentally informed secondary structure model of sgRNA M, which presents features likely to be important in sgRNA M function. The knowledge about sgRNA M provides insights to better understand virus biology and could be used for designing new therapeutics.

2021 ◽  
Sam F. Greenbury ◽  
Ard A. Louis ◽  
Sebastian E. Ahnert

Fitness landscapes are often described in terms of ‘peaks’ and ‘valleys’, implying an intuitive low-dimensional landscape of the kind encountered in everyday experience. The space of genotypes, however, is extremely high-dimensional, which results in counter-intuitive properties of genotype-phenotype maps, such as the close proximity of one phenotype to many others. Here we investigate how common structural properties of high-dimensional genotype-phenotype maps, such as the presence of neutral networks, affect the navigability of fitness landscapes. For three biologically realistic genotype-phenotype map models—RNA secondary structure, protein tertiary structure and protein complexes—we find that, even under random fitness assignment, fitness maxima can be reached from almost any other phenotype without passing through a fitness valley. This in turn implies that true fitness valleys are very rare. By considering evolutionary simulations between pairs of real examples of functional RNA sequences, we show that accessible paths are also likely to be utilised under evolutionary dynamics.

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