Informatic resources for identifying and annotating structural RNA motifs

Mol Biotechnol. 2009 Feb;41(2):180-93. doi: 10.1007/s12033-008-9114-z. Epub 2008 Nov 1.


Post-transcriptional regulation of genes and transcripts is a vital aspect of cellular processes, and unlike transcriptional regulation, remains a largely unexplored domain. One of the most obvious and most important questions to explore is the discovery of functional RNA elements. Many RNA elements have been characterized to date ranging from cis-regulatory motifs within mRNAs to large families of non-coding RNAs. Like protein coding genes, the functional motifs of these RNA elements are highly conserved, but unlike protein coding genes, it is most often the structure and not the sequence that is conserved. Proper characterization of these structural RNA motifs is both the key and the limiting step to understanding the post-transcriptional aspects of the genomic world. Here, we focus on the task of structural motif discovery and provide a survey of the informatics resources geared towards this task.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Computational Biology / methods*
  • Databases, Nucleic Acid*
  • Internet
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation*
  • RNA / chemistry*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry


  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • RNA