[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Almost all RNAs can fold to form extensive base-paired secondary structures. Many of these structures then modulate numerous fundamental elements of gene expression. Deducing these structure-function relationships requires that it be possible to predict RNA secondary structures accurately. However, RNA secondary structure prediction for large RNAs, such that a single predicted structure for a single sequence reliably represents the correct structure, has remained an unsolved problem. Here, we demonstrate that quantitative, nucleotide-resolution information from a SHAPE experiment can be interpreted as a pseudo-free energy change term and used to determine RNA secondary structure with high accuracy. Free energy minimization, by using SHAPE pseudo-free energies, in conjunction with nearest neighbor parameters, predicts the secondary structure of deproteinized Escherichia coli 16S rRNA (>1,300 nt) and a set of smaller RNAs (75-155 nt) with accuracies of up to 96-100%, which are comparable to the best accuracies achievable by comparative sequence analysis.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/2008; 106(1):97-102. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ligation of an adapter oligonucleotide to a single-stranded cDNA is central to many molecular biology techniques. Current single-stranded ligation approaches suffer from low efficiencies and are strongly inhibited by preexisting DNA secondary structure. We develop an approach for ligating low concentrations of single-stranded DNAs to a DNA adapter with near-quantitative efficiency, unaffected by secondary structure in the target DNA. This efficient DNA ligation reaction will facilitate development of robust procedures for quantifying small amounts of highly structured cDNAs and their RNA templates.