Identification of proteins and miRNAs that specifically bind an mRNA in vivo


  • K. Theil
  • K. Imami
  • N. Rajewsky


  • Nature Communications


  • Nat Commun 10 (1): 4205


  • Understanding regulation of an mRNA requires knowledge of its regulators. However, methods for reliable de-novo identification of proteins binding to a particular RNA are scarce and were thus far only successfully applied to abundant noncoding RNAs in cell culture. Here, we present vIPR, an RNA-protein crosslink, RNA pulldown, and shotgun proteomics approach to identify proteins bound to selected mRNAs in C. elegans. Applying vIPR to the germline-specific transcript gld-1 led to enrichment of known and novel interactors. By comparing enrichment upon gld-1 and lin-41 pulldown, we demonstrate that vIPR recovers both common and specific RNA-binding proteins, and we validate DAZ-1 as a specific gld-1 regulator. Finally, combining vIPR with small RNA sequencing, we recover known and biologically important transcript-specific miRNA interactions, and we identify miR-84 as a specific interactor of the gld-1 transcript. We envision that vIPR will provide a platform for investigating RNA in vivo regulation in diverse biological systems.