Transcriptome-scale RNase-footprinting of RNA-protein complexes

Nat Biotechnol. 2016 Apr;34(4):410-3. doi: 10.1038/nbt.3441. Epub 2016 Feb 22.


Ribosome profiling is widely used to study translation in vivo, but not all sequence reads correspond to ribosome-protected RNA. Here we describe Rfoot, a computational pipeline that analyzes ribosomal profiling data and identifies native, nonribosomal RNA-protein complexes. We use Rfoot to precisely map RNase-protected regions within small nucleolar RNAs, spliceosomal RNAs, microRNAs, tRNAs, long noncoding (lnc)RNAs and 3' untranslated regions of mRNAs in human cells. We show that RNAs of the same class can show differential complex association. Although only a subset of lncRNAs show RNase footprints, many of these have multiple footprints, and the protected regions are evolutionarily conserved, suggestive of biological functions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Computational Biology / methods*
  • Humans
  • RNA / analysis
  • RNA / chemistry*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry*
  • Ribonucleases / metabolism*
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA / methods*
  • Transcriptome / genetics*


  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • RNA
  • Ribonucleases