MCTBI: a web server for predicting metal ion effects in RNA structures.
ABSTRACT: Metal ions play critical roles in RNA structure and function. However, web servers and software packages for predicting ion effects in RNA structures are notably scarce. Furthermore, the existing web servers and software packages mainly neglect ion correlation and fluctuation effects, which are potentially important for RNAs. We here report a new web server, the MCTBI server (http://rna.physics.missouri.edu/MCTBI), for the prediction of ion effects for RNA structures. This server is based on the recently developed MCTBI, a model that can account for ion correlation and fluctuation effects for nucleic acid structures and can provide improved predictions for the effects of metal ions, especially for multivalent ions such as Mg2+ effects, as shown by extensive theory-experiment test results. The MCTBI web server predicts metal ion binding fractions, the most probable bound ion distribution, the electrostatic free energy of the system, and the free energy components. The results provide mechanistic insights into the role of metal ions in RNA structure formation and folding stability, which is important for understanding RNA functions and the rational design of RNA structures.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Metal ions play a critical role in the stabilization of RNA structures. Therefore, accurate prediction of the ion effects in RNA folding can have a far-reaching impact on our understanding of RNA structure and function. Multivalent ions, especially Mg²?, are essential for RNA tertiary structure formation. These ions can possibly become strongly correlated in the close vicinity of RNA surface. Most of the currently available software packages, which have widespread success in predicting ion effects in biomolecular systems, however, do not explicitly account for the ion correlation effect. Therefore, it is important to develop a software package/web server for the prediction of ion electrostatics in RNA folding by including ion correlation effects.<h4>Results</h4>The TBI web server http://rna.physics.missouri.edu/tbi_index.html provides predictions for the total electrostatic free energy, the different free energy components, and the mean number and the most probable distributions of the bound ions. A novel feature of the TBI server is its ability to account for ion correlation and ion distribution fluctuation effects.<h4>Conclusions</h4>By accounting for the ion correlation and fluctuation effects, the TBI server is a unique online tool for computing ion-mediated electrostatic properties for given RNA structures. The results can provide important data for in-depth analysis for ion effects in RNA folding including the ion-dependence of folding stability, ion uptake in the folding process, and the interplay between the different energetic components.
Project description:MOTIVATION: Metal ions are essential for the folding of RNA molecules into stable tertiary structures and are often involved in the catalytic activity of ribozymes. However, the positions of metal ions in RNA 3D structures are difficult to determine experimentally. This motivated us to develop a computational predictor of metal ion sites for RNA structures. RESULTS: We developed a statistical potential for predicting positions of metal ions (magnesium, sodium and potassium), based on the analysis of binding sites in experimentally solved RNA structures. The MetalionRNA program is available as a web server that predicts metal ions for RNA structures submitted by the user. AVAILABILITY: The MetalionRNA web server is accessible at http://metalionrna.genesilico.pl/.
Project description:Synthetic biology and nanotechnology are poised to make revolutionary contributions to the 21st century. In this article, we describe a new web server to support in silico RNA molecular design. Given an input target RNA secondary structure, together with optional constraints, such as requiring GC-content to lie within a certain range, requiring the number of strong (GC), weak (AU) and wobble (GU) base pairs to lie in a certain range, the RNAiFold web server determines one or more RNA sequences, whose minimum free-energy secondary structure is the target structure. RNAiFold provides access to two servers: RNA-CPdesign, which applies constraint programming, and RNA-LNSdesign, which applies the large neighborhood search heuristic; hence, it is suitable for larger input structures. Both servers can also solve the RNA inverse hybridization problem, i.e. given a representation of the desired hybridization structure, RNAiFold returns two sequences, whose minimum free-energy hybridization is the input target structure. The web server is publicly accessible at http://bioinformatics.bc.edu/clotelab/RNAiFold, which provides access to two specialized servers: RNA-CPdesign and RNA-LNSdesign. Source code for the underlying algorithms, implemented in COMET and supported on linux, can be downloaded at the server website.
Project description:RNATOPS-W is a web server to search sequences for RNA secondary structures including pseudoknots. The server accepts an annotated RNA multiple structural alignment as a structural profile and genomic or other sequences to search. It is built upon RNATOPS, a command line C++ software package for the same purpose, in which filters to speed up search are manually selected. RNATOPS-W improves upon RNATOPS by adding the function of automatic selection of a hidden Markov model (HMM) filter and also a friendly user interface for selection of a substructure filter by the user. In addition, RNATOPS-W complements existing RNA secondary structure search web servers that either use built-in structure profiles or are not able to detect pseudoknots. RNATOPS-W inherits the efficiency of RNATOPS in detecting large, complex RNA structures.
Project description:Given an mRNA sequence as input, the OligoWalk web server generates a list of small interfering RNA (siRNA) candidate sequences, ranked by the probability of being efficient siRNA (silencing efficacy greater than 70%). To accomplish this, the server predicts the free energy changes of the hybridization of an siRNA to a target mRNA, considering both siRNA and mRNA self-structure. The free energy changes of the structures are rigorously calculated using a partition function calculation. By changing advanced options, the free energy changes can also be calculated using less rigorous lowest free energy structure or suboptimal structure prediction methods for the purpose of comparison. Considering the predicted free energy changes and local siRNA sequence features, the server selects efficient siRNA with high accuracy using a support vector machine. On average, the fraction of efficient siRNAs selected by the server that will be efficient at silencing is 78.6%. The OligoWalk web server is freely accessible through internet at http://rna.urmc.rochester.edu/servers/oligowalk.
Project description:Metals are essential in many biological processes, and metal ions are modeled in roughly 40% of the macromolecular structures in the Protein Data Bank (PDB). However, a significant fraction of these structures contain poorly modeled metal-binding sites. CheckMyMetal (CMM) is an easy-to-use metal-binding site validation server for macromolecules that is freely available at http://csgid.org/csgid/metal_sites. The CMM server can detect incorrect metal assignments as well as geometrical and other irregularities in the metal-binding sites. Guidelines for metal-site modeling and validation in macromolecules are illustrated by several practical examples grouped by the type of metal. These examples show CMM users (and crystallographers in general) problems they may encounter during the modeling of a specific metal ion.
Project description:The strong interaction between metal ions in solution and highly charged RNA molecules is critical for RNA structure formation and stabilization. Metal ions binding to RNA can induce RNA structural changes that are important for RNA cellular functions. Therefore, quantitative modeling of the ion effects is essential for RNA structure prediction and RNA-based molecular design. Recently, inspired by the increasing experimental evidence that supports the importance of ion correlation and fluctuation in ion-RNA interactions, we developed a new computational model, Monte Carlo Tightly Bound Ion (MCTBI) model. The validity of the model is shown by the improved accuracy in the predictions for ion binding properties and ion-dependent free energies for RNA structures. In this chapter, using homodimeric tetraloop-receptor docking as an illustrative example, we showcase the MCTBI method for the computational prediction of the ion effects in RNA folding.
Project description:Metal ions are essential for the folding of RNA into stable tertiary structures and for the catalytic activity of some RNA enzymes. To aid in the study of the roles of metal ions in RNA structural biology, we have created MeRNA (Metals in RNA), a comprehensive compilation of all metal binding sites identified in RNA 3D structures available from the PDB and Nucleic Acid Database. Currently, our database contains information relating to binding of 9764 metal ions corresponding to 23 distinct elements, in 256 RNA structures. The metal ion locations were confirmed and ligands characterized using original literature references. MeRNA includes eight manually identified metal-ion binding motifs, which are described in the literature. MeRNA is searchable by PDB identifier, metal ion, method of structure determination, resolution and R-values for X-ray structure and distance from metal to any RNA atom or to water. New structures with their respective binding motifs will be added to the database as they become available. The MeRNA database will further our understanding of the roles of metal ions in RNA folding and catalysis and have applications in structural and functional analysis, RNA design and engineering. The MeRNA database is accessible at http://merna.lbl.gov.
Project description:AMMOS2 is an interactive web server for efficient computational refinement of protein-small organic molecule complexes. The AMMOS2 protocol employs atomic-level energy minimization of a large number of experimental or modeled protein-ligand complexes. The web server is based on the previously developed standalone software AMMOS (Automatic Molecular Mechanics Optimization for in silico Screening). AMMOS utilizes the physics-based force field AMMP sp4 and performs optimization of protein-ligand interactions at five levels of flexibility of the protein receptor. The new version 2 of AMMOS implemented in the AMMOS2 web server allows the users to include explicit water molecules and individual metal ions in the protein-ligand complexes during minimization. The web server provides comprehensive analysis of computed energies and interactive visualization of refined protein-ligand complexes. The ligands are ranked by the minimized binding energies allowing the users to perform additional analysis for drug discovery or chemical biology projects. The web server has been extensively tested on 21 diverse protein-ligand complexes. AMMOS2 minimization shows consistent improvement over the initial complex structures in terms of minimized protein-ligand binding energies and water positions optimization. The AMMOS2 web server is freely available without any registration requirement at the URL: http://drugmod.rpbs.univ-paris-diderot.fr/ammosHome.php.
Project description:The Bioinformatics Links Directory, http://bioinformatics.ca/links_directory/, is an online resource for public access to all of the life science research web servers published in this and previous issues of Nucleic Acids Research, together with other useful tools, databases and resources for bioinformatics and molecular biology research. Dependent on community input and development, the Bioinformatics Links Directory exemplifies an open access research tool and resource. The 2008 update includes the 94 web servers featured in the July 2008 Web Server issue of Nucleic Acids Research, bringing the total number of servers listed in the Bioinformatics Links Directory to over 1200 links. A complete list of all links listed in this Nucleic Acids Research 2008 Web Server issue can be accessed online at http://bioinfomatics.ca/links_directory/narweb2008/. The 2008 update of the Bioinformatics Links Directory, which includes the Web Server list and summaries, is also available online at the Nucleic Acids Research website, http://nar.oxfordjournals.org/.