An RNA molecule is made up of a linear sequence of nucleotides, which form pairwise interactions that define its folded three-dimensional structure. For smaller RNAs, the folded configuration reflects a globally minimal free energy state, such that changing the nucleotide sequence or adding additional sequence might significantly alter the minimum free energy structure. Previously we showed that a class of non-protein-coding RNAs, microRNAs, exhibit the property of structural self containment – given any arbitrary genomic sequence context, the precursor miRNA hairpin structure will tend to maintain a robust substructure; this is a property that distinguishes pre-miRNAs from most other classes of non-coding RNAs. Here, we propose that miRNAs’ trend toward high self containment reflects their modular origins – i.e., the pre-miRNA may constitute a modular unit, remaining structurally robust throughout an evolutionary history characterized by rapid duplication, rearrangement, and sequence change.

Abstract Type
poster
Primary Author
Miler Lee
University
University of Pennsylvania
Abstract Title
Structural modularity of microRNA precursors
Abstract Author(s)
Miler T. Lee and Junhyong Kim
Username
lee
Fellowship Year
2005
First Name
Miler
Last Name
Lee
Program
CSGF
Area of Study
Computational Biology
Poster Group
Group 2
Poster Number
24