RNA molecules fold into complex structures that enable their diverse functions in cells. Recent revolutionary innovations in transcriptome-wide RNA structural probing of living cells have ushered in a new era in understanding RNA functions. Here, we summarize the latest technological advances for probing RNA secondary structures and discuss striking discoveries that have linked RNA regulation and biological processes through interrogation of RNA structures. In particular, we highlight how different long noncoding RNAs form into distinct secondary structures that determine their modes of interactions with protein partners to realize their unique functions. These dynamic structures mediate RNA regulatory functions through altering interactions with proteins and other RNAs. We also outline current methodological hurdles and speculate about future directions for development of the next generation of RNA structure-probing technologies of higher sensitivity and resolution, which could then be applied in increasingly physiologically relevant studies.
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Differential analysis of RNA structure probing experiments at nucleotide resolution: uncovering regulatory functions of RNA structure
Nature Communications Open Access 22 July 2022
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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (91940303, 31725009, 31830108, 31821004) and the HHMI International Program (55008728) to L.-L.C., and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grants No. 91740204, 91940306 and 31761163007) and the State Key Research Development Program of China (Grant No. 2018YFA0107603) to Q.C.Z. L.-L.C. acknowledges the support from the XPLORER PRIZE.
The authors declare no competing interests.
Peer review information Nature Chemical Biology thanks Yiliang Ding, Brian Gregory and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
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Wang, XW., Liu, CX., Chen, LL. et al. RNA structure probing uncovers RNA structure-dependent biological functions. Nat Chem Biol 17, 755–766 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41589-021-00805-7
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