Current technologies for targeted characterization and manipulation of viral RNA primarily involve amplification or ultracentrifugation with isopycnic gradients of viral particles to decrease host RNA background. The former strategy is non-compatible for characterizing properties innate to RNA strands such as secondary structure, RNA-RNA interactions, and also for nanopore direct RNA sequencing involving the sequencing of native RNA strands. The latter strategy, ultracentrifugation, causes loss in genomic information due to its inability to retrieve unassembled viral RNA.
Dengue (DENV) and Zika (ZIKV) viruses are clinically important members of the Flaviviridae family with an 11 kb positive strand RNA genome that folds to enable virus function. Here, we perform structure and interaction mapping on four DENV and ZIKV strains inside virions and in infected cells. Comparative analysis of SHAPE reactivities across serotypes nominates potentially functional regions that are highly structured, conserved, and contain low synonymous mutation rates.
RNA molecules are attractive therapeutic targets because non-coding RNA molecules have increasingly been found to play key regulatory roles in the cell. Comparing and classifying RNA 3D structures yields unique insights into RNA evolution and function. With the rapid increase in the number of atomic-resolution RNA structures, it is crucial to have effective tools to classify RNA structures and to investigate them for structural similarities at different resolutions.
Identifying pairwise RNA-RNA interactions is key to understanding how RNAs fold and interact with other RNAs inside the cell. We present a high-throughput approach, sequencing of psoralen crosslinked, ligated, and selected hybrids (SPLASH), that maps pairwise RNA interactions in vivo with high sensitivity and specificity, genome-wide. Applying SPLASH to human and yeast transcriptomes revealed the diversity and dynamics of thousands of long-range intra- and intermolecular RNA-RNA interactions.