Chan D, Feng C, England WE, Wyman D, Flynn RA, Wang X, Shi Y, Mortazavi A, Spitale RC. 2021. Diverse functional elements in RNA predicted transcriptome-wide by orthogonal RNA structure probing. Nucleic acids research. 49(20):11868-11882. Pubmed: 34634799 DOI:10.1093/nar/gkab885


RNA molecules can fold into complex structures and interact with trans-acting factors to control their biology. Recent methods have been focused on developing novel tools to measure RNA structure transcriptome-wide, but their utility to study and predict RNA-protein interactions or RNA processing has been limited thus far. Here, we extend these studies with the first transcriptome-wide mapping method for cataloging RNA solvent accessibility, icLASER. By combining solvent accessibility (icLASER) with RNA flexibility (icSHAPE) data, we efficiently predict RNA-protein interactions transcriptome-wide and catalog RNA polyadenylation sites by RNA structure alone. These studies showcase the power of designing novel chemical approaches to studying RNA biology. Further, our study exemplifies merging complementary methods to measure RNA structure inside cells and its utility for predicting transcriptome-wide interactions that are critical for control of and regulation by RNA structure. We envision such approaches can be applied to studying different cell types or cells under varying conditions, using RNA structure and footprinting to characterize cellular interactions and processing involving RNA.
© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

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Ryan Flynn’s laboratory is focused on the exploration and discovery of how biopolymers like RNA and glycans work together to control cellular processes in the context of human disease.

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