Annotated Tertiary Interactions In RNA Structures Reveal Motif Correlations

Christian Laing
New York University


RNA tertiary motifs play an important role in RNA folding. To understand the complex organization of RNA tertiary interactions, we compiled a dataset containing high-resolution RNA crystal structures. Seven RNA tertiary motifs (coaxial helix, A-minor, ribose zipper, pseudoknot, kissing hairpin, tRNA D-loop:T-loop and tetraloop- tetraloop receptor) were analyzed. Exhaustive search of these motifs revealed diversity of A-minor interactions, and other loop-loop receptor interactions similar to the tetraloop-tetraloop receptor. Correlation between motifs, such as pseudoknot or coaxial helix with A-minor, shows that they can form composite motifs. These findings may lead to tertiary structure constraints for RNA 3D prediction.