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      RNA structure generates natural cooperativity between single-stranded RNA binding proteins targeting 5' and 3'UTRs

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          Abstract

          In post-transcriptional regulation, an mRNA molecule is bound by many proteins and/or miRNAs to modulate its function. To enable combinatorial gene regulation, these binding partners of an RNA must communicate with each other, exhibiting cooperativity. Even in the absence of direct physical interactions between the binding partners, such cooperativity can be mediated through RNA secondary structures, since they affect the accessibility of the binding sites. Here we propose a quantitative measure of this structure-mediated cooperativity that can be numerically calculated for an arbitrary RNA sequence. Focusing on an RNA with two binding sites, we derive a characteristic difference of free energy differences, i.e. \Delta\Delta G, as a measure of the effect of the occupancy of one binding site on the binding strength of another. We apply this measure to a large number of human and C. elegans mRNAs, and find that structure-mediated cooperativity is a generic feature. Interestingly, this cooperativity not only affects binding sites in close proximity along the sequence but also configurations in which one binding site is located in the 5'UTR and the other is located in the 3'UTR of the mRNA. Furthermore, we find that this end-to-end cooperativity is determined by the UTR sequences while the sequences of the coding regions are irrelevant.

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          Most cited references 20

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          MicroRNAs

           David Bartel (2004)
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            The microRNA.org resource: targets and expression

            MicroRNA.org (http://www.microrna.org) is a comprehensive resource of microRNA target predictions and expression profiles. Target predictions are based on a development of the miRanda algorithm which incorporates current biological knowledge on target rules and on the use of an up-to-date compendium of mammalian microRNAs. MicroRNA expression profiles are derived from a comprehensive sequencing project of a large set of mammalian tissues and cell lines of normal and disease origin. Using an improved graphical interface, a user can explore (i) the set of genes that are potentially regulated by a particular microRNA, (ii) the implied cooperativity of multiple microRNAs on a particular mRNA and (iii) microRNA expression profiles in various tissues. To facilitate future updates and development, the microRNA.org database structure and software architecture is flexibly designed to incorporate new expression and target discoveries. The web resource provides users with functional information about the growing number of microRNAs and their interaction with target genes in many species and facilitates novel discoveries in microRNA gene regulation.
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              Expanded sequence dependence of thermodynamic parameters improves prediction of RNA secondary structure.

              An improved dynamic programming algorithm is reported for RNA secondary structure prediction by free energy minimization. Thermodynamic parameters for the stabilities of secondary structure motifs are revised to include expanded sequence dependence as revealed by recent experiments. Additional algorithmic improvements include reduced search time and storage for multibranch loop free energies and improved imposition of folding constraints. An extended database of 151,503 nt in 955 structures? determined by comparative sequence analysis was assembled to allow optimization of parameters not based on experiments and to test the accuracy of the algorithm. On average, the predicted lowest free energy structure contains 73 % of known base-pairs when domains of fewer than 700 nt are folded; this compares with 64 % accuracy for previous versions of the algorithm and parameters. For a given sequence, a set of 750 generated structures contains one structure that, on average, has 86 % of known base-pairs. Experimental constraints, derived from enzymatic and flavin mononucleotide cleavage, improve the accuracy of structure predictions. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                1410.5319

                Molecular biology

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