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Computational 3D Assembling Methods for DNA: a Survey

Raposo, A. ; Gomes, A.

IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics Vol. 13, Nº 6, pp. 1068 - 1085, December, 2016.

ISSN (print): 1545-5963
ISSN (online):

Journal Impact Factor: (in 0)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/TCBB.2015.2510008

DNA encodes the genetic information of most living beings, except viruses that use RNA. Unlike other types of molecules, DNA is not usually described by its atomic structure being instead usually described by its base-pair sequence, i.e., the textual sequence of its subsidiary molecules known as nucleotides (adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T)). The three-dimensional assembling of DNA molecules based on its base-pair sequence has been, for decades, a topic of interest for many research groups all over the world. In this paper we survey the major methods found in the literature to assemble and visualize DNA molecules from their base-pair sequences. We divided these methods into three categories: predictive methods, adaptive methods, and thermodynamic methods. Predictive methods aim to predict a conformation of the DNA from its base pair sequence, while the goal of adaptive methods is to assemble DNA base-pairs sequences along previously known conformations, as needed in scenarios such as DNA Monte Carlo simulations. Unlike these two geometric methods, thermodynamic methods are energy-based and aim to predict secondary structural motifs of DNA in cases where hydrogen bonds between base pairs might be broken because of temperature changes. We also present the major software tools that implements predictive, adaptive and thermodynamic methods.