Sfold web server for statistical folding and rational design of nucleic acids

Nucleic Acids Res. 2004 Jul 1;32(Web Server issue):W135-41. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkh449.


The Sfold web server provides user-friendly access to Sfold, a recently developed nucleic acid folding software package, via the World Wide Web (WWW). The software is based on a new statistical sampling paradigm for the prediction of RNA secondary structure. One of the main objectives of this software is to offer computational tools for the rational design of RNA-targeting nucleic acids, which include small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), antisense oligonucleotides and trans-cleaving ribozymes for gene knock-down studies. The methodology for siRNA design is based on a combination of RNA target accessibility prediction, siRNA duplex thermodynamic properties and empirical design rules. Our approach to target accessibility evaluation is an original extension of the underlying RNA folding algorithm to account for the likely existence of a population of structures for the target mRNA. In addition to the application modules Sirna, Soligo and Sribo for siRNAs, antisense oligos and ribozymes, respectively, the module Srna offers comprehensive features for statistical representation of sampled structures. Detailed output in both graphical and text formats is available for all modules. The Sfold server is available at http://sfold.wadsworth.org and http://www.bioinfo.rpi.edu/applications/sfold.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Computational Biology
  • Internet
  • Models, Statistical
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense / chemistry
  • RNA / chemistry*
  • RNA Stability
  • RNA, Catalytic / chemistry
  • RNA, Small Interfering / chemistry
  • Software*
  • User-Computer Interface


  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense
  • RNA, Catalytic
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • RNA