DSSR identifies kink-turns!

As of the beta-r14-on-20130626 release, DSSR has the functionality to identify kink-turns and reverse k-turns given an RNA structure in PDB format.

The k-turn motif was first described by Klein et al. (2001) in the paper The kink-turn: a new RNA secondary structure motif, based on analyses of the H. marismortui large ribosomal unit. It turns out to be a widespread structural motif, now with a dedicated k-turn database hosted by the Lilley laboratory.

Geometrically, k-turn is composed of an asymmetric internal loop, with a sharp kink between the two framing helices and characteristic loop features (including at least one sheared G-A pair and A-minor interactions). Overall, k-turn is a complicated motif, and I am not aware of any published method or available software for its auto-detection.

Previous releases of DSSR has built up all the necessary components to detect key features of a k-turn. Over the past few weeks, I have been focusing on connecting the dots to implement an algorithm for its auto-identification. As of beta-r14-on-20130626, DSSR can locate ‘simple’ k-turns or reverse k-turns from an RNA structure in PDB format. I understand the subtleties and variations of k-turns, and will refine the algorithm in future releases of DSSR.

Without putting k-turns under its umbrella, DSSR appears incomplete in its functionality. Hopefully, detection of k-turns will help DSSR gain more attention from the RNA structure community.





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