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Nucleoside analogs in the study of the epitranscriptome
- Palumbo, Cody M., Beal, Peter A.
- Methods 2019 v.156 pp. 46-52
- DNA-directed RNA polymerase, messenger RNA, nucleosides, nucleotides, synthesis
- Over 150 unique RNA modifications are now known including several nonstandard nucleotides present in the body of messenger RNAs. These modifications can alter a transcript’s function and are collectively referred to as the epitrancriptome. Chemically modified nucleoside analogs are poised to play an important role in the study of these epitranscriptomic marks. Introduced chemical features on nucleic acid strands provide unique structures or reactivity that can be used for downstream detection or quantification. Three methods are used in the field to synthesize RNA containing chemically modified nucleoside analogs. Nucleoside analogs can be introduced by metabolic labeling, via polymerases with modified nucleotide triphosphates or via phosphoramidite-based chemical synthesis. In this review, these methods for incorporation of nucleoside analogs will be discussed with specific recently published examples pertaining to the study of the epitranscriptome.