RNAcofold − manual page for RNAcofold 2.4.11
RNAcofold [OPTIONS]... [FILES]...
calculate secondary structures of two RNAs with dimerization
works much like RNAfold, but allows one to specify two RNA
sequences which are then allowed to form a dimer structure.
RNA sequences are read from stdin in the usual format, i.e.
each line of input corresponds to one sequence, except for
lines starting with ">" which contain the name
of the next sequence. To compute the hybrid structure of two
molecules, the two sequences must be concatenated using the
\’&\’ character as separator. RNAcofold can
compute minimum free energy (mfe) structures, as well as
partition function (pf) and base pairing probability matrix
(using the −p switch) Since dimer formation is
concentration dependent, RNAcofold can be used to compute
equilibrium concentrations for all five monomer and
(homo/hetero)−dimer species, given input
concentrations for the monomers. Output consists of the mfe
structure in bracket notation as well as PostScript
structure plots and "dot plot" files containing
the pair probabilities, see the RNAfold man page for
details. In the dot plots a cross marks the chain break
between the two concatenated sequences. The program will
continue to read new sequences until a line consisting of
the single character @ or an end of file condition is
Print help and exit
Print help, including all details and hidden options, and exit
Print help, including hidden options, and exit
Print version and exit
Command line options which alter the general behavior of this program
Split batch input into jobs and start processing in parallel using multiple threads. A value of 0 indicates to use as many parallel threads as computation cores are available.
Default processing of input data is performed in a serial fashion, i.e. one sequence pair at a time. Using this switch, a user can instead start the computation for many sequence pairs in the input in parallel. RNAcofold will create as many parallel computation slots as specified and assigns input sequences of the input file(s) to the available slots. Note, that this increases memory consumption since input alignments have to be kept in memory until an empty compute slot is available and each running job requires its own dynamic programming matrices.
Do not try to keep output in order with input while parallel processing is in place.
When parallel input processing (−−jobs flag) is enabled, the order in which input is processed depends on the host machines job scheduler. Therefore, any output to stdout or files generated by this program will most likely not follow the order of the corresponding input data set. The default of RNAcofold is to use a specialized data structure to still keep the results output in order with the input data. However, this comes with a trade−off in terms of memory consumption, since all output must be kept in memory for as long as no chunks of consecutive, ordered output are available. By setting this flag, RNAcofold will not buffer individual results but print them as soon as they have been computated.
Do not produce postscript drawing of the mfe structure.
Do not automatically substitute nucleotide "T" with "U"
Automatically generate an ID for each sequence. (default=off)
The default mode of RNAcofold is to automatically determine an ID from the input sequence data if the input file format allows to do that. Sequence IDs are usually given in the FASTA header of input sequences. If this flag is active, RNAcofold ignores any IDs retrieved from the input and automatically generates an ID for each sequence. This ID consists of a prefix and an increasing number. This flag can also be used to add a FASTA header to the output even if the input has none.
Prefix for automatically generated IDs (as used in output file names)
If this parameter is set, each sequence will be prefixed with the provided string. Hence, the output files will obey the following naming scheme: "prefix_xxxx_ss.ps" (secondary structure plot), "prefix_xxxx_dp.ps" (dot−plot), "prefix_xxxx_dp2.ps" (stack probabilities), etc. where xxxx is the sequence number. Note: Setting this parameter implies −−auto−id.
Change the delimiter between prefix and increasing number for automatically generated IDs (as used in output file names)
This parameter can be used to change the default delimiter "_" between
the prefix string and the increasing number for automatically generated ID.
Specify the number of digits of the counter in automatically generated alignment IDs.
When alignments IDs are automatically generated, they receive an increasing number, starting with 1. This number will always be left−padded by leading zeros, such that the number takes up a certain width. Using this parameter, the width can be specified to the users need. We allow numbers in the range [1:18]. This option implies −−auto−id.
Specify the first number in automatically generated alignment IDs.
When sequence IDs are automatically generated, they receive an increasing number, usually starting with 1. Using this parameter, the first number can be specified to the users requirements. Note: negative numbers are not allowed. Note: Setting this parameter implies to ignore any IDs retrieved from the input data, i.e. it activates the −−auto−id flag.
Change the delimiting character that is used
for sanitized filenames
This parameter can be used to change the delimiting character used while sanitizing filenames, i.e. replacing invalid characters. Note, that the default delimiter ALWAYS is the first character of the "ID delimiter" as supplied through the −−id−delim option. If the delimiter is a whitespace character or empty, invalid characters will be simply removed rather than substituted. Currently, we regard the following characters as illegal for use in filenames: backslash ’\’, slash ’/’, question mark ’?’, percent sign ’%’, asterisk ’*’, colon ’:’, pipe symbol ’|’, double quote ’"’, triangular brackets ’<’ and ’>’.
Use full FASTA header to create filenames
This parameter can be used to deactivate the default behavior of limiting output filenames to the first word of the sequence ID. Consider the following example: An input with FASTA header ">NM_0001 Homo Sapiens some gene" usually produces output files with the prefix "NM_0001" without the additional data available in the FASTA header, e.g. "NM_0001_ss.ps" for secondary structure plots. With this flag set, no truncation of the output filenames is done, i.e. output filenames receive the full FASTA header data as prefixes. Note, however, that invalid characters (such as whitespace) will be substituted by a delimiting character or simply removed, (see also the parameter option −−filename−delim).
Change the default output format
The following output formats are currently supported:
ViennaRNA format (V), Delimiter−separated format (D) also known as CSV
Change the delimiting character for Delimiter−separated output format, such as CSV
Delimiter−separated output defaults to comma separated values (CSV), i.e. all data in one data set is delimited by a comma character. This option allows one to change the delimiting character to something else. Note, to switch to tab−separated data, use $’\t’ as delimiting character.
Do not print header for Delimiter−separated output, such as CSV
Command line options to interact with the structure constraints feature of this program
Set the maximum base pair span
structures subject to
The program reads first the sequence, then a string containing constraints on the structure encoded with the symbols:
. (no constraint for this base)
| (the corresponding base has to be paired
x (the base is unpaired)
< (base i is paired with a base j>i)
> (base i is paired with a base j<i)
and matching brackets ( ) (base i pairs base j)
With the exception of "|", constraints will disallow all pairs conflicting with the constraint. This is usually sufficient to enforce the constraint, but occasionally a base may stay unpaired in spite of constraints. PF folding ignores constraints of type "|".
Use constraints for multiple sequences. (default=off)
Usually, constraints provided from input file only apply to a single input sequence. Therefore, RNAcofold will stop its computation and quit after the first input sequence was processed. Using this switch, RNAcofold processes multiple input sequences and applies the same provided constraints to each of them.
Remove non−canonical base pairs from the structure constraint
Enforce base pairs given by round brackets ( ) in structure constraint
Use SHAPE reactivity data to guide structure predictions
−−shapeMethod=[D/Z/W] + [optional parameters]
Select method to incorporate SHAPE reactivity
The following methods can be used to convert SHAPE reactivities into pseudo energy contributions.
’D’: Convert by using a linear equation according to Deigan et al 2009. The calculated pseudo energies will be applied for every nucleotide involved in a stacked pair. This method is recognized by a capital ’D’ in the provided parameter, i.e.: −−shapeMethod="D" is the default setting. The slope ’m’ and the intercept ’b’ can be set to a non−default value if necessary, otherwise m=1.8 and b=−0.6. To alter these parameters, e.g. m=1.9 and b=−0.7, use a parameter string like this: −−shapeMethod="Dm1.9b−0.7". You may also provide only one of the two parameters like: −−shapeMethod="Dm1.9" or −−shapeMethod="Db−0.7".
’Z’: Convert SHAPE reactivities to pseudo energies according to Zarringhalam et al 2012. SHAPE reactivities will be converted to pairing probabilities by using linear mapping. Aberration from the observed pairing probabilities will be penalized during the folding recursion. The magnitude of the penalties can affected by adjusting the factor beta (e.g. −−shapeMethod="Zb0.8").
’W’: Apply a given vector of perturbation energies to unpaired nucleotides according to Washietl et al 2012. Perturbation vectors can be calculated by using RNApvmin.
+ [optional parameters] Select method to convert SHAPE reactivities to
This parameter is useful when dealing with the SHAPE incorporation according to Zarringhalam et al. The following methods can be used to convert SHAPE reactivities into the probability for a certain nucleotide to be unpaired.
’M’: Use linear mapping according to Zarringhalam et al. ’C’: Use a cutoff−approach to divide into paired and unpaired nucleotides (e.g. "C0.25") ’S’: Skip the normalizing step since the input data already represents probabilities for being unpaired rather than raw reactivity values ’L’: Use a linear model to convert the reactivity into a probability for being unpaired (e.g. "Ls0.68i0.2" to use a slope of 0.68 and an intercept of 0.2) ’O’: Use a linear model to convert the log of the reactivity into a probability for being unpaired (e.g. "Os1.6i−2.29" to use a slope of 1.6 and an intercept of −2.29)
Read additional commands from file
Commands include hard and soft constraints, but also structure motifs in hairpin and interior loops that need to be treeted differently. Furthermore, commands can be set for unstructured and structured domains.
Select additional algorithms which should be included in the calculations. The Minimum free energy (MFE) and a structure representative are calculated in any case.
Calculate the partition function and base pairing probability matrix in addition to the mfe structure. Default is calculation of mfe structure only.
In addition to the MFE structure we print a coarse representation of the pair probabilities in form of a pseudo bracket notation, followed by the ensemble free energy, as well as the centroid structure derived from the pair probabilities together with its free energy and distance to the ensemble. Finally it prints the frequency of the mfe structure, and the structural diversity (mean distance between the structures in the ensemble). See the description of pf_fold() and mean_bp_dist() and centroid() in the RNAlib documentation for details. Note that unless you also specify −d2 or −d0, the partition function and mfe calculations will use a slightly different energy model. See the discussion of dangling end options below.
An additionally passed value to this option changes the behavior of partition function calculation:
In order to calculate the partition function but not the pair probabilities
use the −p0 option and save about
50% in runtime. This prints the ensemble free energy −kT ln(Z).
Compute the partition function and free energies not only of the hetero−dimer consisting of the two input sequences (the "AB dimer"), but also of the homo−dimers AA and BB as well as A and B monomers.
The output will contain the free energies for each of these species, as well as 5 dot plots containing the conditional pair probabilities, called "ABname5.ps", "AAname5.ps" and so on. For later use, these dot plot files also contain the free energy of the ensemble as a comment. Using −a automatically switches on the −p option. Base pair probability computations may be turned off altogether by providing "0" as an argument to this parameter. In that case, no dot plot files will be generated.
In addition to everything listed under the −a option, read in initial monomer concentrations and compute the expected equilibrium concentrations of the 5 possible species (AB, AA, BB, A, B).
Start concentrations are read from stdin (unless the −f option is used) in [mol/l], equilibrium concentrations are given realtive to the sum of the two inputs. An arbitrary number of initial concentrations can be specified (one pair of concentrations per line).
Specify a file with initial concentrations for the two sequences.
The table consits of arbitrary many lines with just two numbers (the concentration of sequence A and B). This option will automatically toggle the −c (and thus −a and −p) options (see above).
Compute the centroid structure. (default=off)
Additionally to the MFE structure, compute the centroid representative of the structure ensemble. Here, we apply the base pair distance as distance measure, and report the structure that minimizes its Boltzmann weighted base pair distance to the rest of the ensemble. Computing the centroid structure requires equilibrium base pair probabilities. Therefore, this option implies the −p switch. For historical reasons, the centroid structure output is deactivated by default.
Calculate an MEA (maximum expected accuracy) structure, where the expected accuracy is computed from the pair probabilities: each base pair (i,j) gets a score 2*gamma*p_ij and the score of an unpaired base is given by the probability of not forming a pair.
The parameter gamma tunes the importance of correctly predicted pairs versus unpaired bases. Thus, for small values of gamma the MEA structure will contain only pairs with very high probability. Using −−MEA implies −p for computing the pair probabilities.
−S, −−pfScale=scaling factor
In the calculation of the pf use scale*mfe as an estimate for the ensemble free energy (used to avoid overflows).
The default is 1.07, useful values are 1.0 to 1.2. Occasionally needed for long sequences. You can also recompile the program to use double precision (see the README file).
Set the threshold for base pair probabilities included in the postscript output
By setting the threshold the base pair probabilities that are included in the output can be varied. By default only those exceeding 1e−5 in probability will be shown as squares in the dot plot. Changing the threshold to any other value allows for increase or decrease of data.
Incoorporate G−Quadruplex formation into the structure prediction algorithm.
Rescale energy parameters to a temperature of temp C. Default is 37C.
Do not include special tabulated stabilizing energies for tri−, tetra− and hexaloop hairpins.
Mostly for testing.
How to treat "dangling end" energies for bases adjacent to helices in free ends and multi−loops
With −d1 only unpaired bases can participate in at most one dangling end. With −d2 this check is ignored, dangling energies will be added for the bases adjacent to a helix on both sides in any case; this is the default for mfe and partition function folding (−p). The option −d0 ignores dangling ends altogether (mostly for debugging). With −d3 mfe folding will allow coaxial stacking of adjacent helices in multi−loops. At the moment the implementation will not allow coaxial stacking of the two interior pairs in a loop of degree 3 and works only for mfe folding.
Note that with −d1 and −d3 only the MFE computations will be using this setting while partition function uses −d2 setting, i.e. dangling ends will be treated differently.
Produce structures without lonely pairs (helices of length 1).
For partition function folding this only disallows pairs that can only occur isolated. Other pairs may still occasionally occur as helices of length 1.
Do not allow GU pairs
Do not allow GU pairs at the end of helices
Read energy parameters from paramfile, instead of using the default parameter set.
A sample parameter file should accompany your distribution. See the RNAlib documentation for details on the file format.
Allow other pairs in addition to the usual AU,GC,and GU pairs.
Its argument is a comma separated list of additionally allowed pairs. If the first character is a "−" then AB will imply that AB and BA are allowed pairs. e.g. RNAcofold −nsp −GA will allow GA and AG pairs. Nonstandard pairs are given 0 stacking energy.
Rarely used option to fold sequences from the artificial ABCD... alphabet, where A pairs B, C−D etc. Use the energy parameters for GC (−e 1) or AU (−e 2) pairs.
Set the scaling of the Boltzmann factors (default=‘1.’)
The argument provided with this option enables to scale the thermodynamic temperature used in the Boltzmann factors independently from the temperature used to scale the individual energy contributions of the loop types. The Boltzmann factors then become exp(−dG/(kT*betaScale)) where k is the Boltzmann constant, dG the free energy contribution of the state and T the absolute temperature.
If you use this program in your work you might want to cite:
R. Lorenz, S.H. Bernhart, C. Hoener zu Siederdissen, H. Tafer, C. Flamm, P.F. Stadler and I.L. Hofacker (2011), "ViennaRNA Package 2.0", Algorithms for Molecular Biology: 6:26
I.L. Hofacker, W. Fontana, P.F. Stadler, S. Bonhoeffer, M. Tacker, P. Schuster (1994), "Fast Folding and Comparison of RNA Secondary Structures", Monatshefte f. Chemie: 125, pp 167-188
R. Lorenz, I.L. Hofacker, P.F. Stadler (2016), "RNA folding with hard and soft constraints", Algorithms for Molecular Biology 11:1 pp 1-13
S.H.Bernhart, Ch. Flamm, P.F. Stadler, I.L. Hofacker, (2006), "Partition Function and Base Pairing Probabilities of RNA Heterodimers", Algorithms Mol. Biol.
The energy parameters are taken from:
D.H. Mathews, M.D. Disney, D. Matthew, J.L. Childs, S.J. Schroeder, J. Susan, M. Zuker, D.H. Turner (2004), "Incorporating chemical modification constraints into a dynamic programming algorithm for prediction of RNA secondary structure", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA: 101, pp 7287-7292
D.H Turner, D.H. Mathews (2009), "NNDB: The nearest neighbor parameter database for predicting stability of nucleic acid secondary structure", Nucleic Acids Research: 38, pp 280-282
Ivo L Hofacker, Peter F Stadler, Stephan Bernhart, Ronny Lorenz
If in doubt our program is right, nature is at fault. Comments should be sent to email@example.com.