Fast algorithm for predicting the secondary structure of single-stranded RNA.

R. Nussinov*, A. B. Jacobson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A computer method is presented for finding the most stable secondary structures in long single-stranded RNAs. It is 1-2 orders of magnitude faster than existing codes. The time required for its application increases as N3 for a chain N nucleotides long. As many as 1000 nucleotides can be searched in a single run. The approach is systematic and builds an optimal structure in a straightforward inductive procedure based on an exact mathematical algorithm. Two simple half-matrices are constructed and the best folded form is read directly from the second matrix by a simple back-tracking procedure. The program utilizes published values for base-pairing energies to compute one structure with the lowest free energy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6309-6313
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1980


Dive into the research topics of 'Fast algorithm for predicting the secondary structure of single-stranded RNA.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this