Single-read tRNA-seq analysis reveals coordination of tRNA modification and aminoacylation and fragmentation

Nucleic Acids Res. 2023 Feb 22;51(3):e17. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkac1185.


Transfer RNA (tRNA) utilizes multiple properties of abundance, modification, and aminoacylation in translational regulation. These properties were typically studied one-by-one; however, recent advance in high throughput tRNA sequencing enables their simultaneous assessment in the same sequencing data. How these properties are coordinated at the transcriptome level is an open question. Here, we develop a single-read tRNA analysis pipeline that takes advantage of the pseudo single-molecule nature of tRNA sequencing in NGS libraries. tRNAs are short enough that a single NGS read can represent one tRNA molecule, and can simultaneously report on the status of multiple modifications, aminoacylation, and fragmentation of each molecule. We find correlations among modification-modification, modification-aminoacylation and modification-fragmentation. We identify interdependencies among one of the most common tRNA modifications, m1A58, as coordinators of tissue-specific gene expression. Our method, SingLe-read Analysis of Crosstalks (SLAC), reveals tRNAome-wide networks of modifications, aminoacylation, and fragmentation. We observe changes of these networks under different stresses, and assign a function for tRNA modification in translational regulation and fragment biogenesis. SLAC leverages the richness of the tRNA-seq data and provides new insights on the coordination of tRNA properties.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aminoacylation
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing* / methods
  • RNA, Transfer* / metabolism


  • RNA, Transfer