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Development of Poly(A)-ClickSeq as a tool enabling simultaneous genome-wide poly(A)-site identification and differential expression analysis
- Elrod, Nathan D., Jaworski, Elizabeth A., Ji, Ping, Wagner, Eric J., Routh, Andrew
- Methods 2019 v.155 pp. 20-29
- bioinformatics, cost effectiveness, data collection, gene expression, gene expression regulation, infrastructure, messenger RNA, microarray technology, nucleotides, sequence analysis
- The use of RNA-seq as a generalized tool to measure the differential expression of genes has essentially replaced the use of the microarray. Despite the acknowledged technical advantages to this approach, RNA-seq library preparation remains mostly conducted by core facilities rather than in the laboratory due to the infrastructure, expertise and time required per sample. We have recently described two ‘click-chemistry’ based library construction methods termed ClickSeq and Poly(A)-ClickSeq (PAC-seq) as alternatives to conventional RNA-seq that are both cost effective and rely on straightforward reagents readily available to most labs. ClickSeq is random-primed and can sequence any (unfragmented) RNA template, while PAC-seq is targeted to poly(A) tails of mRNAs. Here, we further develop PAC-seq as a platform that allows for simultaneous mapping of poly(A) sites and the measurement of differential expression of genes. We provide a detailed protocol, descriptions of appropriate computational pipelines, and a proof-of-principle dataset to illustrate the technique. PAC-seq offers a unique advantage over other 3′ end mapping protocols in that it does not require additional purification, selection, or fragmentation steps allowing sample preparation directly from crude total cellular RNA. We have shown that PAC-seq is able to accurately and sensitively count transcripts for differential gene expression analysis, as well as identify alternative poly(A) sites and determine the precise nucleotides of the poly(A) tail boundaries.