Capture and sequencing of NAD-capped RNA sequences with NAD captureSeq


Here we describe a protocol for NAD captureSeq that allows for the identification of nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide (NAD)-capped RNA sequences in total RNA samples from different organisms. NAD-capped RNA is first chemo-enzymatically biotinylated with high efficiency, permitting selective capture on streptavidin beads. Then, a highly efficient library preparation protocol tailored to immobilized, 5′-modified RNA is applied, with adaptor ligation to the RNA's 3′ terminus and reverse transcription (RT) performed on-bead. Then, cDNA is released into solution, tailed, ligated to a second adaptor and PCR-amplified. After next-generation sequencing (NGS) of the DNA library, enriched sequences are identified by comparison with a control sample in which the first step of chemo-enzymatic biotinylation is omitted. Because the downstream protocol does not necessarily rely on NAD-modified but on 'clickable' or biotin-modified RNA, it can be applied to other RNA modifications or RNA–biomolecule interactions. The central part of this protocol can be completed in 7 d, excluding preparatory steps, sequencing and bioinformatic analysis.

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Figure 1: Schematic representation of the central NAD captureSeq protocol.
Figure 2: Reaction scheme for adaptor preadenylation and exemplary PAGE analysis of educt and reaction product (12% denaturing PAGE, SYBR Gold staining).
Figure 3: Bioinformatic analysis.
Figure 4: Determination of enzyme activity in different ADPRC batches.
Figure 5: 12% Denaturing PAGE purification of model NAD-RNA.
Figure 6
Figure 7: Test PCRs analyzed on 2% agarose gel, prestained with ethidium bromide.
Figure 8: Native PAGE purification of PCR-amplified cDNA libraries (three repeats of a fully treated sample; SYBR Gold staining).


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We thank the CellNetworks Deep Sequencing Core Facility at Heidelberg University, in particular D. Ibberson, as well as Vertis AG, in particular F. Thümmler, for Illumina sequencing and helpful discussions about adaptor and primer design. We thank J. Becker, A. Krause, A. Samanta, B. Strauß, Y.Q. Zhang, M. Tesch and other members of the Jäschke laboratory for help and discussions. M.L.W. was supported by a PhD fellowship from HBIGS. H.C. was supported by a postdoctoral fellowship from the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation. A.J. was supported by the German Research Council (DFG SPP 1784), the BMBF, the Helmholtz Initiative on Synthetic Biology and Baden-Württemberg Stiftung.

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All authors contributed to design of experiments; M.-L.W., H.C., G.N., J.F. and K.H. performed experiments; all authors analyzed experiments and contributed to the writing of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Andres Jäschke.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Integrated supplementary information

Supplementary Figure 1 Representative PAGE analysis of adapter ligation to the 3’-terminus of RNA.

To demonstrate the high ligation efficiency under our ligation conditions, 5 pmol of a pool of 5’-phosphorylated random 21-mer RNAs were first dephosphorylated with FastAP (Thermo Fisher Scientific) in a 10 μl reaction containing 2x standard ligation buffer, with 2-ME and BSA, but without DMSO. The dephosphorylation reaction was heat inactivated. Then, the reaction mixture was supplemented with a mixture of H2O, phosphorylated and adenylated adapter (pCTGTAGGCACCATCAAT(C3) and rAppCTGTAGGCACCATCAAT(C3)), DMSO and the respective ligases, at the same concentrations as mentioned in this article. The reactions contained either T4 RNA ligase (RNL1) alone, T4 RNA ligase 2, truncated (RNL2, tr.; New England Biolabs) alone, or both. The mixture was resolved by 12% denaturing PAGE and the gel was stained with SYBR Gold and scanned on a Typhoon scanner. Excellent ligation efficiencies were achieved with RNL1 alone or in combination with RNL2, tr., whereas non-reacted (N.R.) RNA remained when RNL2, tr. was employed alone.

Supplementary Figure 2 Product of CuAAC between ADPRC-product and Azide-PEG3-biotin.

Different parts of the resulting molecule are labelled.

Supplementary Figure 3 TdT tailing and ligation of DNA

(a) TdT tailing of single-stranded (ss) DNA1C (GATAATATGAAAGTGCAGTTTC) at varying concentrations, doped with 5’-radiolabelled DNA1C with CTP or GTP at concentrations of 12.5 mM, 1.25 mM, 125 μM, 12.5 μM and 1.25 μM for 90 min. The tailing efficiency and number of nucleotides added is far more consistent for tailing with CTP than tailing with GTP. (b) TdT tailing of ss or double-stranded (ds) DNA (DNA1C, left and DNA2 (GGAGCTCAGCCTTCACTGC), right) +/- reverse complement; 0.5 μM concentration for ss, 0.25 μM per strand for ds, each doped with 5’-radiolabelled DNA1C or DNA2). CTP concentrations were 1.25 mM (++) or 125 μM (+). Both, ssDNA and dsDNA are tailed quantitatively, although the efficiency is somewhat lower for dsDNA. (c) TdT tailing of ss DNA with varying 3’-terminal nucleotide DNA1A/C/G/T (GATAATATGAAAGTGCAGTTT(A/C/G/T)) at 5 μM concentration, doped with the respective 5’-radiolabelled DNA. Different NTPs were present at 1.25 mM concentration; 30 min reaction. The tailing efficiency does not vary substantially for different 3’-terminal nucleotides. (d), (e) Ligation of different cDNA-anchors to a random 21mer DNA (DNA3), tailed in a reaction with TdT containing either ATP, CTP, GTP or UTP, doped with the respective α-32P-NTP (Hartmann Analytic) (DNA: 0.5 μM, NTP: 125 μM, 30 min reaction). cDNA-anchors consisted of cDNA-adapter (p-CACTCGGGCACCAAGGAC-(C3)) and the respective reverse complement, with a 2 (d) or 3 (e) nt A-, C-, G-, or T-overhang. Ligation yields are indicated, as determined ratiometrically after background-subtraction using the ImageQuant software (GE Healthcare; values represent single experiments). Bands marked with an asterisk (*) results from an α-32P-GTP adduct. (f) Ligation of cDNA-anchor (as described in d, e) with 2nt G-overhang DNA (DNA1A, -C, -G, or -T) reacted with TdT and CTP, doped with α-32P-CTP (0.5 μM DNA, 125 μM CTP, 10 min reaction). Quantitative turnover is observed for all different DNAs. Thus, like TdT tailing (c) the ligation efficiency does not depend on the 3’-terminal nucleotide. All panels represent phosphor imaging scans of 15% sequencing PAGE (except (f):12% sequencing PAGE). Image panels a, b, d, f adapted with permission from ref. 68, Marie-Luise Winz; image panels c, e reproduced with permission from ref. 68, Marie-Luise Winz. Lines indicate where different parts of the same gel were combined to facilitate interpretation.

Supplementary Figure 4 Structure of ImpA with numbering scheme used to assign protons and carbon atoms in NMR.

Signals were annotated using additional C,H- and H,H-COSY data. Image reproduced with permission from ref. 68, Marie-Luise Winz.

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Winz, M., Cahová, H., Nübel, G. et al. Capture and sequencing of NAD-capped RNA sequences with NAD captureSeq. Nat Protoc 12, 122–149 (2017).

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