RNA target highlights in CASP15: Evaluation of predicted models by structure providers

Rachael C. Kretsch, Ebbe S. Andersen, Janusz M. Bujnicki, Wah Chiu, Rhiju Das, Bingnan Luo, Benoît Masquida, Ewan K.S. McRae, Griffin M. Schroeder, Zhaoming Su, Joseph E. Wedekind, Lily Xu, Kaiming Zhang, Ivan N. Zheludev, John Moult*, Andriy Kryshtafovych*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The first RNA category of the Critical Assessment of Techniques for Structure Prediction competition was only made possible because of the scientists who provided experimental structures to challenge the predictors. In this article, these scientists offer a unique and valuable analysis of both the successes and areas for improvement in the predicted models. All 10 RNA-only targets yielded predictions topologically similar to experimentally determined structures. For one target, experimentalists were able to phase their x-ray diffraction data by molecular replacement, showing a potential application of structure predictions for RNA structural biologists. Recommended areas for improvement include: enhancing the accuracy in local interaction predictions and increased consideration of the experimental conditions such as multimerization, structure determination method, and time along folding pathways. The prediction of RNA–protein complexes remains the most significant challenge. Finally, given the intrinsic flexibility of many RNAs, we propose the consideration of ensemble models.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProteins: Structure, Function and Bioinformatics
Pages (from-to)1600-1615
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • CASP
  • community-wide experiment
  • cryo-EM
  • RNA folding
  • RNA structure prediction
  • x-ray crystallography
  • Proteins/chemistry
  • X-Ray Diffraction
  • Models, Molecular
  • Protein Conformation
  • Computational Biology/methods


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