Session B26: Focus Session: Single Molecule Biophysics: DNA & RNA

11:15 AM–2:15 PM, Monday, March 13, 2006
Baltimore Convention Center Room: 323

Sponsoring Units: DBP DPOLY
Chair: Ching-Hwa Kiang, Rice University

Abstract ID: BAPS.2006.MAR.B26.9

Abstract: B26.00009 : Abundance of pseudoknots in the RNA world

1:15 PM–1:27 PM

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  Daniel Aalberts
  Evan Miller
    (Williams College)

The pseudoknot fold is often seen in auto-catalytic RNA and in viruses. A recent polymer physics model and statistical-mechanical theory predicts relative probabilities of different pseudoknot folds consonant with a database of known folds. Now we extend that theory for a preliminary estimate of the abundance of pseudoknot folds in RNA sequences, finding approximately 1 per 40,000 nucleotides. This theoretical probability density compares favorably to what we infer from structure databases and has implications for genome organization, RNA folding algorithms, and the RNA World.

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