An extended dual graph library and partitioning algorithm applicable to pseudoknotted RNA structures

S. Jain, Sera Saju, L. Petingi, T. Schlick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Exploring novel RNA topologies is imperative for understanding RNA structure and pursuing its design. Our RNA-As-Graphs (RAG) approach exploits graph theory tools and uses coarse-grained tree and dual graphs to represent RNA helices and loops by vertices and edges. Only dual graphs represent pseudoknotted RNAs fully. Here we develop a dual graph enumeration algorithm to generate an expanded library of dual graph topologies for 2–9 vertices, and extend our dual graph partitioning algorithm to identify all possible RNA subgraphs. Our enumeration algorithm connects smaller-vertex graphs, using all possible edge combinations, to build larger-vertex graphs and retain all non-isomorphic graph topologies, thereby more than doubling the size of our prior library to a total of 110,667 dual graph topologies. We apply our dual graph partitioning algorithm, which keeps pseudoknots and junctions intact, to all existing RNA structures to identify all possible substructures up to 9 vertices. In addition, our expanded dual graph library assigns graph topologies to all RNA graphs and subgraphs, rectifying prior inconsistencies. We update our RAG-3Dual database of RNA atomic fragments with all newly identified substructures and their graph IDs, increasing its size by more than 50 times. The enlarged dual graph library and RAG-3Dual database provide a comprehensive repertoire of graph topologies and atomic fragments to study yet undiscovered RNA molecules and design RNA sequences with novel topologies, including a variety of pseudoknotted RNAs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-84
Number of pages11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


  • Dual graph library
  • Graph enumeration
  • Graph partitioning
  • RAG-3Dual database
  • RNA As Graphs
  • RNA subgraphs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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