RNA2D3D: a program for generating, viewing, and comparing 3-dimensional models of RNA. Using primary and secondary structure information of an RNA molecule, the program RNA2D3D automatically and rapidly produces a first-order approximation of a 3-dimensional conformation consistent with this information. Applicable to structures of arbitrary branching complexity and pseudoknot content, it features efficient interactive graphical editing for the removal of any overlaps introduced by the initial generating procedure and for making conformational changes favorable to targeted features and subsequent refinement. With emphasis on fast exploration of alternative 3D conformations, one may interactively add or delete base-pairs, adjacent stems can be coaxially stacked or unstacked, single strands can be shaped to accommodate special constraints, and arbitrary subsets can be defined and manipulated as rigid bodies. Compaction, whereby base stacking within stems is optimally extended into connecting single strands, is also available as a means of strategically making the structures more compact and revealing folding motifs. Subsequent refinement of the first-order approximation, of modifications, and for the imposing of tertiary constraints is assisted with standard energy refinement techniques. Previously determined coordinates for any part of the molecule are readily incorporated, and any part of the modeled structure can be output as a PDB or XYZ file. Illustrative applications in the areas of ribozymes, viral kissing loops, viral internal ribosome entry sites, and nanobiology are presented.

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  1. Picardi, Ernesto (ed.): RNA bioinformatics (2015)