Genome-Wide Analysis of RNA Secondary Structure

Philip C. Bevilacqua, Laura E. Ritchey, Zhao Su, Sarah M. Assmann

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

167 Scopus citations


Single-stranded RNA molecules fold into extraordinarily complicated secondary and tertiary structures as a result of intramolecular base pairing. In vivo, these RNA structures are not static. Instead, they are remodeled in response to changes in the prevailing physicochemical environment of the cell and as a result of intermolecular base pairing and interactions with RNA-binding proteins. Remarkable technical advances now allow us to probe RNA secondary structure at single-nucleotide resolution and genome-wide, both in vitro and in vivo. These data sets provide new glimpses into the RNA universe. Analyses of RNA structuromes in HIV, yeast, Arabidopsis, and mammalian cells and tissues have revealed regulatory effects of RNA structure on messenger RNA (mRNA) polyadenylation, splicing, translation, and turnover. Application of new methods for genome-wide identification of mRNA modifications, particularly methylation and pseudouridylation, has shown that the RNA "epitranscriptome" both influences and is influenced by RNA structure. In this review, we describe newly developed genome-wide RNA structure-probing methods and synthesize the information emerging from their application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-266
Number of pages32
JournalAnnual review of genetics
StatePublished - Nov 23 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics


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