R-Coffee: a method for multiple alignment of non-coding RNA

TitleR-Coffee: a method for multiple alignment of non-coding RNA
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsWilm A, Higgins DG, Notredame C
JournalNucleic Acids Res
Date PublishedMay
Accession Number18420654
KeywordsAlgorithms, Nucleic Acid Conformation, RNA, Untranslated/ chemistry, Sequence Alignment/ methods, Sequence Analysis, RNA, Software

R-Coffee is a multiple RNA alignment package, derived from T-Coffee, designed to align RNA sequences while exploiting secondary structure information. R-Coffee uses an alignment-scoring scheme that incorporates secondary structure information within the alignment. It works particularly well as an alignment improver and can be combined with any existing sequence alignment method. In this work, we used R-Coffee to compute multiple sequence alignments combining the pairwise output of sequence aligners and structural aligners. We show that R-Coffee can improve the accuracy of all the sequence aligners. We also show that the consistency-based component of T-Coffee can improve the accuracy of several structural aligners. R-Coffee was tested on 388 BRAliBase reference datasets and on 11 longer Cmfinder datasets. Altogether our results suggest that the best protocol for aligning short sequences (less than 200 nt) is the combination of R-Coffee with the RNA pairwise structural aligner Consan. We also show that the simultaneous combination of the four best sequence alignment programs with R-Coffee produces alignments almost as accurate as those obtained with R-Coffee/Consan. Finally, we show that R-Coffee can also be used to align longer datasets beyond the usual scope of structural aligners. R-Coffee is freely available for download, along with documentation, from the T-Coffee web site (www.tcoffee.org).