RNA-protein (RNP) interactions play essential roles in many biological processes, such as regulation of co-transcriptional and post-transcriptional gene expression, RNA splicing, transport, storage and stabilization, as well as protein synthesis. An increasing number of RNP structures would aid in a better understanding of these processes. However, due to the technical difficulties associated with experimental determination of macromolecular structures by high-resolution methods, studies on RNP recognition and complex formation present significant challenges. As an alternative, computational prediction of RNP interactions can be carried out. Structural models obtained by theoretical predictive methods are, in general, less reliable compared to models based on experimental measurements but they can be sufficiently accurate to be used as a basis for to formulating functional hypotheses. In this article, we present an overview of computational methods for 3D structure prediction of RNP complexes. We discuss currently available methods for macromolecular docking and for scoring 3D structural models of RNP complexes in particular. Additionally, we also review benchmarks that have been developed to assess the accuracy of these methods.
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