The existence of evolutionary conservation in base pairing is strong evidence for functional elements of RNA structure, although available tools for rigorous identification of structural conservation are limited. R-scape is a recently developed program for statistical prediction of pairwise covariation from sequence alignments, but it initially showed limited utility on long RNAs, especially those of eukaryotic origin. Here we show that R-scape can be adapted for a more powerful analysis of structure conservation in long RNA molecules, including mammalian lncRNAs.
Keywords: RNAalifold; conserved structure; covariation analysis; lncRNA structure; long non-coding RNAs.
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