SPOt: A novel and streamlined microarray platform for observing cellular tRNA levels
by Simon Grelet, Ariel McShane, Eveline Hok, Jensen Tomberlin, Philip H. Howe, Renaud GeslainRecent studies have placed transfer RNA (tRNA), a housekeeping molecule, in the heart of fundamental cellular processes such as embryonic development and tumor progression. Such discoveries were contingent on the concomitant development of methods able to deliver high-quality tRNA profiles. The present study describes the proof of concept obtained in Escherichia coli (E. coli) for an original tRNA analysis platform named SPOt (Streamlined Platform for Observing tRNA). This approach comprises three steps. First, E. coli cultures are spiked with radioactive orthophosphate; second, labeled total RNAs are trizol-extracted; third, RNA samples are hybridized on in-house printed microarrays and spot signals, the proxy for tRNA levels, are quantified by phosphorimaging. Features such as reproducibility and specificity were assessed using several tRNA subpopulations. Dynamic range and sensitivity were evaluated by overexpressing specific tRNA species. SPOt does not require any amplification or post-extraction labeling and can be adapted to any organism. It is modular and easily streamlined with popular techniques such as polysome fractionation to profile tRNAs interacting with ribosomes and actively engaged in translation. The biological relevance of these data is discussed in regards to codon usage, tRNA gene copy number, and position on the genome.
Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article
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