Capture of the newly transcribed RNA interactome using click chemistry

Nat Protoc. 2021 Nov;16(11):5193-5219. doi: 10.1038/s41596-021-00609-y. Epub 2021 Oct 25.


Application of synthetic nucleoside analogues to capture newly transcribed RNAs has unveiled key features of RNA metabolism. Whether this approach could be adapted to isolate the RNA-bound proteome (RNA interactome) was, however, unexplored. We have developed a new method (capture of the newly transcribed RNA interactome using click chemistry, or RICK) for the systematic identification of RNA-binding proteins based on the incorporation of 5-ethynyluridine into newly transcribed RNAs followed by UV cross-linking and click chemistry-mediated biotinylation. The RNA-protein adducts are then isolated by affinity capture using streptavidin-coated beads. Through high-throughput RNA sequencing and mass spectrometry, the RNAs and proteins can be elucidated globally. A typical RICK experimental procedure takes only 1 d, excluding the steps of cell preparation, 5-ethynyluridine labeling, validation (silver staining, western blotting, quantitative reverse-transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) or RNA sequencing (RNA-seq)) and proteomics. Major advantages of RICK are the capture of RNA-binding proteins interacting with any type of RNA and, particularly, the ability to discern between newly transcribed and steady-state RNAs through controlled labeling. Thanks to its versatility, RICK will facilitate the characterization of the total and newly transcribed RNA interactome in different cell types and conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Click Chemistry*
  • HeLa Cells
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Proteomics
  • RNA*
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA


  • RNA