Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V.

Lecture Notes in Informatics

German Conference on Bioinformatics P-136, 178-188 (2008).

Gesellschaft für Informatik, Bonn


Andreas Beyer (ed.), Michael Schroeder (ed.)

Copyright © Gesellschaft für Informatik, Bonn


Structural local multiple alignment of RNA

Wolfgang Otto , Sebastian Will and Rolf Backofen


Today, RNA is well known to perform important regulatory and catalytic function due to its distinguished structure. Consequently, state-of-the-art RNA multiple alignment algorithms consider structure as well as sequence information. However, existing tools neglect the important aspect of locality. Notably, locality in RNA occurs as similarity of subsequences as well as similarity of only substructures. We present a novel approach for multiple alignment of RNAs that deals with both kinds of locality. The approach extends LocARNA by structural locality for computing allagainst-all pairwise, structural local alignments. The final construction of the multiple alignments from the pairwise ones is delegated to T-Coffee. The paper systematically investigates structural locality in known RNA families. Benchmarking multiple alignment tools on structural local families shows the need for algorithmic support of this locality. The improvement in accuracy in special cases is achieved while staying competitive with state-of-the-art alignment tools across the whole Bralibase. LocARNA and its T-Coffee extended variant LocARNATE are freely available at

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Gesellschaft für Informatik, Bonn
ISBN 978-3-88579-226-0

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