Pelechano V, Wei W, Steinmetz LM
Nat Protoc 11 (2) 359-376 [2016-02-00; online 2016-01-28]
Co-translational mRNA degradation is a widespread process in which 5'-3' exonucleolytic degradation follows the last translating ribosome, thus producing an in vivo ribosomal footprint that delimits the 5' position of the mRNA molecule within the ribosome. To study this degradation process and ribosome dynamics, we developed 5PSeq, which is a method that profiles the genome-wide abundance of mRNA degradation intermediates by virtue of their 5'-phosphorylated (5'P) ends. The approach involves targeted ligation of an oligonucleotide to the 5'P end of mRNA degradation intermediates, followed by depletion of rRNA molecules, reverse transcription of 5'P mRNAs and Illumina high-throughput sequencing. 5PSeq can identify translational pauses at rare codons that are often masked when using alternative methods. This approach can be applied to previously extracted RNA samples, and it is straightforward and does not require polyribosome purification or in vitro RNA footprinting. The protocol we describe here can be applied to Saccharomyces cerevisiae and potentially to other eukaryotic organisms. Three days are required to generate 5PSeq libraries.