Irreducibility in RNA Structures


In this paper, we study irreducibility in RNA structures. By RNA structure, we mean RNA secondary as well as RNA pseudoknot structures as abstract contact structures. We give an analysis contrasting random and minimum free energy (mfe) configurations and secondary versus pseudoknots structures. In the process, we compute various distributions: the numbers of irreducible substructures and their locations and sizes, parameterized in terms of the maximal number of mutually crossing arcs, k−1, and the minimal size of stacks σ. In particular, we analyze the size of the largest irreducible substructure for random and mfe structures, which is the key factor for the folding time of mfe configurations. We show that the largest irreducible substructure is typically unique and contains almost all nucleotides.

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Correspondence to Christian M. Reidys.

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Jin, E.Y., Reidys, C.M. Irreducibility in RNA Structures. Bull. Math. Biol. 72, 375–399 (2010).

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  • Pseudoknot
  • Singularity analysis
  • k-noncrossing σ-canonical diagram
  • k-noncrossing σ-canonical RNA structure
  • Irreducible substructure
  • Return
  • Largest irreducible substructure