RNA Secondary Structures: A Tractable Model of Biopolymer Folding
Ivo L. Hofacker
RNA secondary structures provide a suitable model system for studying the
thermodynamics and kinetics of biopolymer folding. In contrast to models of
protein folding of comparable complexity, the ground state structure as well
as most thermodynamic quantities of interest, such as partition function and
density of states can be calculated by efficient algorithms in polynomial
time. For small RNA molecules, up to as few hundred bases, the kinetics of
folding can be studied in Monte Carlo type simulations. As an example
application, we consider the effect of modified bases in tRNA molecules.
Return to 1998 working papers list.