Title: A set of nearest neighbor parameters for predicting the enthalpy change of RNA secondary structure formation
Speaker: Monir Hajiaghayi
Department of Computer Science, University of British Columbia

In this paper, a complete set of nearest neighbor parameters to predict the enthalpy change of RNA secondary structure formation was derived. These parameters can be used with available free energy nearest neighbor parameters to extend the secondary structure prediction of RNA sequences to temperatures other than 37 C. The parameters were tested by predicting the secondary structures of sequences with known secondary structure that are from organisms with known optimal growth temperatures. Compared with the previous set of enthalpy nearest neighbor parameters, the sensitivity of base pair prediction improved from 65.2 to 68.9% at optimal growth temperatures ranging from 10 to 60 C. Base pair probabilities were predicted with a partition function and the positive predictive value of structure prediction is 90.4% when considering the base pairs in the lowest free energy structure with pairing probability of 0.99 or above. Moreover, a strong correlation is found between the predicted melting temperatures of RNA sequences and the optimal growth temperatures of the host organism. This result indicates that organisms that live at higher temperatures have evolved RNA sequences with higher melting temperatures.

This is a paper by Zhi John Lu, Douglas H. Turner and David H. Mathews.