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Nat Protoc. 2011 Feb;6(2):166-74. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2010.186. Epub 2011 Jan 27.

cDNA library generation from ribonucleoprotein particles.

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Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck Biocenter, Division for Genomics and RNomics, Innsbruck, Austria.


Most, if not all, known noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) are associated with RNA binding proteins, thus forming ribonucleoprotein particles or RNPs. Here we describe a protocol for the generation of a specialized cDNA library from RNPs, thereby increasing the proportion of functional ncRNA species in the library. To that end, cellular extracts are fractionated on 10-30% glycerol gradients. Subsequently, RNP-derived ncRNAs are isolated and 3'-tailed by cytidine triphosphate and poly(A) polymerase; this is followed by 5' adapter ligation by T4 RNA ligase. Reverse transcription of ncRNAs into cDNAs is carried out with an oligo-d(G) anchor primer. The generated cDNA libraries are subsequently submitted to high-throughput sequencing. This RNP selection procedure increases the probability of the presence of biologically relevant ncRNA species in the library compared with libraries generation methods that use size-selected, protein-devoid ncRNAs. The protocol enables the generation of deep-sequencing-compatible cDNA libraries that code for functional ncRNAs within 1 week.

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