RNA structure formation in vivo happens co-transcriptionally while the transcript is being made. The corresponding co-transcriptional folding pathway typically involves transient RNA structure features that are not part of the final, functional RNA structure. These transient features can play important functional roles of their own and also influence the formation of the final RNA structure in vivo. We here present CoBold, a computational method for identifying different functional classes of transient RNA structure features that can either aid or hinder the formation of a known reference RNA structure. Our method takes as input either a single RNA or a corresponding multiple-sequence alignment as well as a known reference RNA secondary structure and identifies different classes of transient RNA structure features that could aid or prevent the formation of the given RNA structure. We make CoBold available via a web-server which includes dedicated data visualisation.
© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.