Broad-range RNA modification analysis of complex biological samples using rapid C18-UPLC-MS

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Post-transcriptional RNA modifications play an important role in cellular metabolism with homoeostatic disturbances manifesting as a wide repertoire of phenotypes, reduced stress tolerance and translational perturbation, developmental defects, and diseases, such as type II diabetes, leukaemia, and carcinomas. Hence, there has been an intense effort to develop various methods for investigating RNA modifications and their roles in various organisms, including sequencing-based approaches and, more frequently, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS)-based methods. Although LC-MS offers numerous advantages, such as being highly sensitive and quantitative over a broad detection range, some stationary phase chemistries struggle to resolve positional isomers. Furthermore, the demand for detailed analyses of complex biological samples often necessitates long separation times, hampering sample-to-sample turnover and making multisample analyses time consuming. To overcome this limitation, we have developed an ultra-performance LC-MS (UPLC-MS) method that uses an octadecyl carbon chain (C18)-bonded silica matrix for the efficient separation of 50 modified ribonucleosides, including positional isomers, in a single 9-min sample-to-sample run. To validate the performance and versatility of our method, we analysed tRNA modification patterns of representative microorganisms from each domain of life, namely Archaea (Methanosarcina acetivorans), Bacteria (Pseudomonas syringae), and Eukarya (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Additionally, our method is flexible and readily applicable for detection and relative quantification using stable isotope labelling and targeted approaches like multiple reaction monitoring (MRM). In conclusion, this method represents a fast and robust tool for broad-range exploration and quantification of ribonucleosides, facilitating future homoeostasis studies of RNA modification in complex biological samples.

TidskriftRNA Biology
Sidor (från-till)1382-1389
Antal sidor8
StatusPublicerad - 2021
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


  • 1182 Biokemi, cell- och molekylärbiologi
  • 11832 Mikrobiologi och virologi

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