Fast and unbiased purification of RNA-protein complexes after UV cross-linking


Post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression in cells is facilitated by formation of RNA-protein complexes (RNPs). While many methods to study eukaryotic (m)RNPs rely on purification of polyadenylated RNA, other important regulatory RNA classes or bacterial mRNA could not be investigated at the same depth. To overcome this limitation, we developed Phenol Toluol extraction (PTex), a novel and unbiased method for the purification of UV cross-linked RNPs in living cells. PTex is a fast (2-3 h) and simple protocol. The purification principle is solely based on physicochemical properties of cross-linked RNPs, enabling us to interrogate RNA-protein interactions system-wide and beyond poly(A) RNA from a variety of species and source material. Here, we are presenting an introduction of the underlying separation principles and give a detailed discussion of the individual steps as well as incorporation of PTex in high-throughput pipelines.