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Title: Fast, clash-free RNA conformational morphing using molecular junctions

Abstract

Non-coding ribonucleic acids (ncRNA) are functional RNA molecules that are not translated into protein. They are extremely dynamic, adopting diverse conformational substates, which enables them to modulate their interaction with a large number of other molecules. The flexibility of ncRNA provides a challenge for probing their complex 3D conformational landscape, both experimentally and computationally. As a result, despite their conformational diversity, ncRNAs mostly preserve their secondary structure throughout the dynamic ensemble. Here we present a kinematics-based procedure to morph an RNA molecule between conformational substates, while avoiding inter-atomic clashes. We represent an RNA as a kinematic linkage, with fixed groups of atoms as rigid bodies and rotatable bonds as degrees of freedom. Our procedure maintains RNA secondary structure by treating hydrogen bonds between base pairs as constraints. The constraints define a lower-dimensional, secondary-structure constraint manifold in conformation space, where motions are largely governed by molecular junctions of unpaired nucleotides. On a large benchmark set, we show that our morphing procedure compares favorably to peer algorithms, and can approach goal conformations to within a low all-atom RMSD by directing fewer than 1% of its atoms. Furthermore, our results suggest that molecular junctions can modulate 3D structural rearrangements, while secondary structure elementsmore » guide large parts of the molecule along the transition to the correct final conformation.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4]
  1. Univ. Paris-Saclay, Palaiseau (France)
  2. Univ. of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen (Germany)
  3. Stanford Univ., Stanford, CA (United States); SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
  4. Stanford Univ., Menlo Park, CA (United States). SLAC National Accelerator Lab.
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1368458
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-76SF00515
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Bioinformatics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 33; Journal Issue: 14; Journal ID: ISSN 1367-4803
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; 59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Heliou, Amelie, Budday, Dominik, Fonseca, Rasmus, and van den Bedem, Henry. Fast, clash-free RNA conformational morphing using molecular junctions. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/btx127.
Heliou, Amelie, Budday, Dominik, Fonseca, Rasmus, & van den Bedem, Henry. Fast, clash-free RNA conformational morphing using molecular junctions. United States. doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/btx127.
Heliou, Amelie, Budday, Dominik, Fonseca, Rasmus, and van den Bedem, Henry. Mon . "Fast, clash-free RNA conformational morphing using molecular junctions". United States. doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/btx127. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1368458.
@article{osti_1368458,
title = {Fast, clash-free RNA conformational morphing using molecular junctions},
author = {Heliou, Amelie and Budday, Dominik and Fonseca, Rasmus and van den Bedem, Henry},
abstractNote = {Non-coding ribonucleic acids (ncRNA) are functional RNA molecules that are not translated into protein. They are extremely dynamic, adopting diverse conformational substates, which enables them to modulate their interaction with a large number of other molecules. The flexibility of ncRNA provides a challenge for probing their complex 3D conformational landscape, both experimentally and computationally. As a result, despite their conformational diversity, ncRNAs mostly preserve their secondary structure throughout the dynamic ensemble. Here we present a kinematics-based procedure to morph an RNA molecule between conformational substates, while avoiding inter-atomic clashes. We represent an RNA as a kinematic linkage, with fixed groups of atoms as rigid bodies and rotatable bonds as degrees of freedom. Our procedure maintains RNA secondary structure by treating hydrogen bonds between base pairs as constraints. The constraints define a lower-dimensional, secondary-structure constraint manifold in conformation space, where motions are largely governed by molecular junctions of unpaired nucleotides. On a large benchmark set, we show that our morphing procedure compares favorably to peer algorithms, and can approach goal conformations to within a low all-atom RMSD by directing fewer than 1% of its atoms. Furthermore, our results suggest that molecular junctions can modulate 3D structural rearrangements, while secondary structure elements guide large parts of the molecule along the transition to the correct final conformation.},
doi = {10.1093/bioinformatics/btx127},
journal = {Bioinformatics},
number = 14,
volume = 33,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Mar 13 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Mon Mar 13 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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  • Despite the significant advances in free-energy computations for biomolecules, there exists no general method to evaluate the free-energy difference between two conformations of a macromolecule that differ significantly from each other. A crucial ingredient of such a method is the ability to find a path between different conformations that allows an efficient computation of the free energy. In this paper, we introduce a method called 'deactivated morphing', in which one conformation is morphed into another after the internal interactions are completely turned off. An important feature of this method is the (shameless) use of nonphysical paths, which makes the methodmore » robustly applicable to conformational changes of arbitrary complexity.« less
  • No abstract is available at this time for this article.
  • Purpose: In a situation where a couch shift for patient positioning is not preferred or prohibited (e.g., MR-linac), segment aperture morphing (SAM) can address target dislocation and deformation. For IMRT/VMAT with flattening-filter-free (FFF) beams, however, SAM method would lead to an adverse translational dose effect due to the beam unflattening. Here the authors propose a new two-step process to address both the translational effect of FFF beams and the target deformation. Methods: The replanning method consists of an offline and an online step. The offline step is to create a series of preshifted-plans (PSPs) obtained by a so-called “warm start”more » optimization (starting optimization from the original plan, rather than from scratch) at a series of isocenter shifts. The PSPs all have the same number of segments with very similar shapes, since the warm start optimization only adjusts the MLC positions instead of regenerating them. In the online step, a new plan is obtained by picking the closest PSP or linearly interpolating the MLC positions and the monitor units of the closest PSPs for the shift determined from the image of the day. This two-step process is completely automated and almost instantaneous (no optimization or dose calculation needed). The previously developed SAM algorithm is then applied for daily deformation. The authors tested the method on sample prostate and pancreas cases. Results: The two-step interpolation method can account for the adverse dose effects from FFF beams, while SAM corrects for the target deformation. Plan interpolation method is effective in diminishing the unflat beam effect and may allow reducing the required number of PSPs. The whole process takes the same time as the previously reported SAM process (5–10 min). Conclusions: The new two-step method plus SAM can address both the translation effects of FFF beams and target deformation, and can be executed in full automation except the delineation of target contour required by the SAM process.« less
  • Structured RNAs must fold into their native structures and discriminate against a large number of alternative ones, an especially difficult task given the limited information content of RNA's nucleotide alphabet. The simplest motifs within structured RNAs are two helices joined by nonhelical junctions. To uncover the fundamental behavior of these motifs and to elucidate the underlying physical forces and challenges faced by structured RNAs, we computationally and experimentally studied a tethered duplex model system composed of two helices joined by flexible single- or double-stranded polyethylene glycol tethers, whose lengths correspond to those typically observed in junctions from structured RNAs. Tomore » dissect the thermodynamic properties of these simple motifs, we computationally probed how junction topology, electrostatics, and tertiary contact location influenced folding stability. Small-angle X-ray scattering was used to assess our predictions. Single- or double-stranded junctions, independent of sequence, greatly reduce the space of allowed helical conformations and influencing the preferred location and orientation of their adjoining helices. A double-stranded junction guides the helices along a hinge-like pathway. In contrast, a single-stranded junction samples a broader set of conformations and has different preferences than the double-stranded junction. In turn, these preferences determine the stability and distinct specificities of tertiary structure formation. These sequence-independent effects suggest that properties as simple as a junction's topology can generally define the accessible conformational space, thereby stabilizing desired structures and assisting in discriminating against misfolded structures. Thus, junction topology provides a fundamental strategy for transcending the limitations imposed by the low information content of RNA primary sequence.« less