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Submitted by ChenLiang on Fri, 09/02/2016 - 21:59


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The Vienna RNA secondary structure server provides a web interface to the most frequently used functions of the Vienna RNA software package for the analysis of RNA secondary structures. It currently offers prediction of secondary structure from a single sequence, prediction of the consensus secondary structure for a set of aligned sequences and the design of sequences that will fold into a predefined structure. All three services can be accessed via the Vienna RNA web server at[1]

The Vienna RNA Websuite is a comprehensive collection of tools for folding, design and analysis of RNA sequences. It provides a web interface to the most commonly used programs of the Vienna RNA package. Among them, we find folding of single and aligned sequences, prediction of RNA-RNA interactions, and design of sequences with a given structure. Additionally, we provide analysis of folding landscapes using the barriers program and structural RNA alignments using LocARNA. The web server together with software packages for download is freely accessible at[2]

Secondary structure forms an important intermediate level of description of nucleic acids that encapsulates the dominating part of the folding energy, is often well conserved in evolution, and is routinely used as a basis to explain experimental findings. Based on carefully measured thermodynamic parameters, exact dynamic programming algorithms can be used to compute ground states, base pairing probabilities, as well as thermodynamic properties.
The ViennaRNA Package has been a widely used compilation of RNA secondary structure related computer programs for nearly two decades. Major changes in the structure of the standard energy model, the Turner 2004 parameters, the pervasive use of multi-core CPUs, and an increasing number of algorithmic variants prompted a major technical overhaul of both the underlying RNAlib and the interactive user programs. New features include an expanded repertoire of tools to assess RNA-RNA interactions and restricted ensembles of structures, additional output information such as centroid structures and maximum expected accuracy structures derived from base pairing probabilities, or z-scores for locally stable secondary structures, and support for input in fasta format. Updates were implemented without compromising the computational efficiency of the core algorithms and ensuring compatibility with earlier versions.
The ViennaRNA Package 2.0, supporting concurrent computations via OpenMP, can be downloaded from[3]

While there are numerous programs that can predict RNA or DNA secondary structures, a program that predicts RNA/DNA hetero-dimers is still missing. The lack of easy to use tools for predicting their structure may be in part responsible for the small number of reports of biologically relevant RNA/DNA hetero-dimers.
We present here an extension to the widely used ViennaRNA Package (Lorenz et al., 2011) for the prediction of the structure of RNA/DNA hetero-dimers.,
Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.[4]

The ViennaRNA package is a widely used collection of programs for thermodynamic RNA secondary structure prediction. Over the years, many additional tools have been developed building on the core programs of the package to also address issues related to noncoding RNA detection, RNA folding kinetics, or efficient sequence design considering RNA-RNA hybridizations. The ViennaRNA web services provide easy and user-friendly web access to these tools. This chapter describes how to use this online platform to perform tasks such as prediction of minimum free energy structures, prediction of RNA-RNA hybrids, or noncoding RNA detection. The ViennaRNA web services can be used free of charge and can be accessed via[5]


  1. Vienna RNA secondary structure server.,
    Hofacker, Ivo L.
    , Nucleic Acids Res, 2003 Jul 1, Volume 31, Issue 13, p.3429-31, (2003)
  2. The Vienna RNA websuite.,
    Gruber, Andreas R., Lorenz Ronny, Bernhart Stephan H., Neuböck Richard, and Hofacker Ivo L.
    , Nucleic Acids Res, 2008 Jul 1, Volume 36, Issue Web Server issue, p.W70-4, (2008)
  3. ViennaRNA Package 2.0.,
    Lorenz, Ronny, Bernhart Stephan H., Siederdissen Christian Höner Zu, Tafer Hakim, Flamm Christoph, Stadler Peter F., and Hofacker Ivo L.
    , Algorithms Mol Biol, 2011, Volume 6, p.26, (2011)
  4. Folding RNA/DNA hybrid duplexes.,
    Lorenz, Ronny, Hofacker Ivo L., and Bernhart Stephan H.
    , Bioinformatics, 2012 Oct 1, Volume 28, Issue 19, p.2530-1, (2012)
  5. The ViennaRNA web services.,
    Gruber, Andreas R., Bernhart Stephan H., and Lorenz Ronny
    , Methods Mol Biol, 2015, Volume 1269, p.307-26, (2015)