NEB TV Ep. 21 - RNA modifications

In this episode we are talking about the importance of RNA modifications. Hear about protocols for prokaryotic transcription start site (TSS) determination, as well as detection and quantitation of RNA modifications, and learn how the RNA Modification Database can help your RNA research.


Joe Whipple:

RNA modifications or collectively, the epitranscriptome encompass all chemical changes made to ribonucleic acids during and after synthesis and their influence extends from the bench to the clinic. RNA modifications were originally discovered in the most abundant cellular transcripts. tRNAs in particular had been a rich source of modifications with over 100 modifications discovered across all studied organisms to date. Much of what we know about the function of RNA modifications actually comes from the study of tRNA.


For example, tRNA research has shown us how modifications influence base pairing, stability and function. With the advent of more sensitive detection techniques, RNA modifications have been found on nearly all cellular transcripts, including mRNA. N6-Methyladenosine, or M6A, has been shown to be a dynamic modification that's important for timing RNA translation. ADARs or adenosine deaminases, act exclusively on double-stranded RNA and play a critical function. Adenosine deamination in coding regions can change the coding potential of mRNA and expand the number of proteins that one gene can encode. RNA modifications can also influence how our bodies innate immune system responds to foreign RNA. 2'-O-methylation for example can mask foreign RNA from our body's immune system.


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