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Parametric analysis of RNA folding

By Valerie Hower and Christine E. Heitsch

Abstract

We extend recent methods for parametric sequence alignment to the parameter space for scoring RNA folds. This involves the construction of an RNA polytope. A vertex of this polytope corresponds to RNA secondary structures with common branching. We use this polytope and its normal fan to study the effect of varying three parameters in the free energy model that are not determined experimentally. Our results indicate that variation of these specific parameters does not have a dramatic effect on the structures predicted by the free energy model. We additionally map a collection of known RNA secondary structures to the RNA polytope

Topics: RNA secondary structure, plane tree, free energy, thermodynamic model, parametric
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