Background RNA secondary structure comparison is a fundamental task for several studies, among which are RNA structure prediction and evolution. The comparison can currently be done efficiently only for pseudoknot-free structures due to their inherent tree representation. Results In this work, we introduce an algebraic language to represent RNA secondary structures with arbitrary pseudoknots. Each structure is associated with a unique algebraic RNA tree that is derived from a tree grammar having concatenation, nesting and crossing as operators. From an algebraic RNA tree, an abstraction is defined in which the primary structure is neglected. The resulting structural RNA tree allows us to define a new measure of similarity calculated exploiting classical tree alignment. Conclusions The tree grammar with its operators permit to uniquely represent any RNA secondary structure as a tree. Structural RNA trees allow us to perform comparison of RNA secondary structures with arbitrary pseudoknots without taking into account the primary structure.

An algebraic language for RNA pseudoknots comparison

Michela Quadrini;Luca Tesei;Emanuela Merelli
2019-01-01

Abstract

Background RNA secondary structure comparison is a fundamental task for several studies, among which are RNA structure prediction and evolution. The comparison can currently be done efficiently only for pseudoknot-free structures due to their inherent tree representation. Results In this work, we introduce an algebraic language to represent RNA secondary structures with arbitrary pseudoknots. Each structure is associated with a unique algebraic RNA tree that is derived from a tree grammar having concatenation, nesting and crossing as operators. From an algebraic RNA tree, an abstraction is defined in which the primary structure is neglected. The resulting structural RNA tree allows us to define a new measure of similarity calculated exploiting classical tree alignment. Conclusions The tree grammar with its operators permit to uniquely represent any RNA secondary structure as a tree. Structural RNA trees allow us to perform comparison of RNA secondary structures with arbitrary pseudoknots without taking into account the primary structure.
2019
262
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11581/426807
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