RNA plays key regulatory roles in diverse cellular processes, where its functionality often derives from folding into and converting between structures. Many RNAs further rely on co-existence of alternative structures, which govern their response to cellular signals. However, characterizing heterogeneous landscapes is difficult, both experimentally and computationally. Recently, structure profiling experiments have emerged as powerful and affordable structure characterization methods, which improve computational structure prediction. To date, efforts have centered on predicting one optimal structure, with much less progress made on multiple-structure prediction. Here, we report a probabilistic modeling approach that predicts a parsimonious set of co-existing structures and estimates their abundances from structure profiling data. We demonstrate robust landscape reconstruction and quantitative insights into structural dynamics by analyzing numerous data sets. This work establishes a framework for data-directed characterization of structure landscapes to aid experimentalists in performing structure-function studies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)