Protocols in Current Issue
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0 Q&A 3078 Views Sep 20, 2021

Genome-wide sequencing of RNA (RNA-seq) has become an inexpensive tool to gain key insights into cellular and disease mechanisms. Sample preparation and sequencing are streamlined and allow the acquisition of hundreds of gene expression profiles in a few days; however, in particular, data processing, curation, and analysis involve numerous steps that can be overwhelming to non-experts. Here, the sample preparation, sequencing, and data processing workflow for RNA-seq expression analysis in yeast is described. While this protocol covers only a small portion of the RNA-seq landscape, the principal workflow common to such experiments is described, allowing the reader to adapt the protocol where necessary.

Graphic abstract:

Basic workflow of RNA-seq expression analysis.

0 Q&A 2397 Views Aug 5, 2021

Plants make up by far the largest part of biomass on Earth. They are the primary source of food and the basis of most drugs used for medicinal purposes. Similarly to all eukaryotes, plant cells also use mitochondria for energy production. Among mitochondrial gene expression processes, translation is the least understood; although, recent advances have revealed the specificities of its main component, the mitochondrial ribosome (mitoribosome). Here, we present a detailed protocol to extract highly pure cauliflower mitochondria by differential centrifugation for the purification of mitochondrial ribosomes using a sucrose gradient and the preparation of cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) grids. Finally, the specific bioinformatics pipeline used for image acquisition, the processing steps, and the data analysis used for cryo-EM of the plant mitoribosome are described. This protocol will be used for further analysis of the critical steps of mitochondrial translation, such as its initiation and regulation.

0 Q&A 2148 Views Dec 5, 2020
Transfer RNA (tRNA) is an essential link between the genetic code and proteins. During the process of translation, tRNA is charged with its cognate amino acid and delivers it to the ribosome, thus serving as a substrate of protein synthesis. To analyze the charging state of a particular tRNA, total RNA is purified and analyzed on an acid-urea gel. Separated RNA is then transferred to a membrane and detected with a probe for the tRNA of interest. Here, we present an improved protocol to analyze the tRNA charging state in the α-proteobacterium Rhodopseudomonas palustris. Compared to the classical method, the RNA isolation step is optimized to suit this organism. Additionally, a non-radioactive platform is used for electrophoresis and Northern blots. This significantly reduces the time and the effort required for this protocol.
0 Q&A 2205 Views Dec 5, 2020
Ribosomes are an integral part of cellular life. They are complex molecular machines consisting of multiple ribosomal proteins and RNAs. To study different aspects of ribosome composition, many methods have been developed over the decades. Here, we describe how to purify ribosomes from the α-proteobacterium Rhodopseudomonas palustris. Following this protocol, RNA can be extracted from either purified ribosomes or directly from cell cultures, and ribosomal RNAs quantified using Northern blot. This protocol gives an example of studying ribosomes in a bacterium other than the commonly used E. coli. The challenge of performing Northern blots with rRNA is also addressed in detail.
1 Q&A 3721 Views May 5, 2020
Many RNA viruses are found in protozoan parasites. They can be responsible for more serious pathology or treatment failure. For the detection of viral double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), sequence-dependent and -independent methods are available, such as quantitative real-time PCR and immunofluorescence, dot blot, ELISA or sequencing. The technique presented here is sequence-independent and is well detailed in the following protocol, taking the example of Leishmania RNA virus (LRV) in Leishmania guyanensis (Lgy) species. To summarise, the protocol is divided into four major steps: RNA extraction from the parasites, RNA purification, enzymatic digestions with DNase I and Nuclease S1, and visualization by gel electrophoresis. This method can be used to detect other viral dsRNA in other parasites. It provides an additional tool, complementary to other techniques previously cited and it is easy and quite fast to achieve.
0 Q&A 5684 Views Mar 20, 2019
Queuosine (Q) is a hypermodified base in the wobble anticodon position of tRNAs coding for the amino acids Tyr, His, Asn, and Asp. tRNA Q-modification is introduced by a queuine tRNA-ribosyltransferase (TGT) that replaces the guanine base at G34 at these tRNAs with the modified base. tRNA Q-modification is widely distributed among prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms, but only bacteria synthesize Q-modified tRNA de novo. In mammals, tRNA Q-modifications strictly rely on the presence of gut microbiomes or diets to produce the queuine base. Despite decades of study, cellular roles of tRNA Q-modification are still not fully understood. Here we describe a method to quantify tRNA Q-modification levels in individual tRNAs from human cells based on the presence of a cis-diol in the Q modification. This cis-diol moiety slows modified tRNA migration through polyacrylamide gels supplemented with N-acryloyl-3-aminophenylboronic acid (APB) compared to the unmodified tRNA. This difference can be visualized by Northern blots using probes for specific tRNA.
2 Q&A 7369 Views Apr 5, 2018
A native purification strategy using RNA Mango for RNA based purification of RNA-protein complexes is described. The RNA Mango aptamer is first genetically engineered into the RNA of interest. RNA Mango containing complexes obtained from cleared cellular native extracts are then immobilized onto TO1-Desthiobiotin saturated streptavidin agarose beads. The beads are washed to remove non-specific complexes and then the RNA Mango containing complexes are eluted by the addition of free biotin to the beads. Since the eluted complexes are native and fluorescent, a second purification step such as size exclusion chromatography can easily be added and the purified complexes tracked by monitoring fluorescence. The high purity native complexes resulting from this two-step purification strategy can be then used for further biochemical characterization.
0 Q&A 7764 Views Mar 5, 2018
In this assay, 3’ RACE (Rapid Amplification of cDNA 3’ Ends) followed by PE (primer extension), abbreviated as 3’ RACE-PE is used to identify the mRNA 3’ ends. The following protocol describes the amplification of the mRNA 3’ ends at the galactose operon in E. coli and the corresponding visualization of the PCR products through PE. In PE, the definite primer is 5’ end-labeled using [γ-(32) P] ATP and T4 polynucleotide kinase, which anneals to the specific DNA molecules within the PCR product of the 3’ RACE. The conventional PE can only be used to locate the 5’ end of an mRNA transcript since reverse transcriptase (RTase) polymerizes only in the 5’ → 3’ direction. Thus, Taq polymerase is used instead of RTase, PCR is performed. Therefore, we are able to locate the 3’ end of the mRNA using this assay. The relative amount of the 3’ end can be directly visualized and quantified by way of separating DNA products in a denaturing 8% urea-PAGE (Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis) gel. The exact position of the 3’ ends can be sequenced by comparison of these final DNA products with the corresponding DNA sequencing ladder.
0 Q&A 7661 Views Jul 20, 2017
We have adapted the methodology of CLIP-seq (Crosslinking-Immunoprecipitation and DNA Sequencing) to map the segments of encapsidated RNAs that contact the protein shells of virions. Results from the protocol report on the RNA sequences that contact the viral capsid.
0 Q&A 8372 Views Jun 20, 2017
It recently has been established that adenine-containing cofactors, including nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH), and 3’-desphospho-coenzyme A (dpCoA), can serve as ‘non-canonical initiating nucleotides’ (NCINs) for transcription initiation by bacterial and eukaryotic cellular RNA polymerases (RNAPs) and that the efficiency of the reaction is determined by promoter sequence (Bird et al., 2016). Here we describe a protocol to quantify the relative efficiencies of transcription initiation using an NCIN vs. transcription initiation using a nucleoside triphosphate (NTP) for a given promoter sequence.

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