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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Detection of double-stranded RNA-protein interactions by methylene blue-mediated photo-crosslinking.

Double-stranded(ds) RNA-binding proteins have diverse functions in the cell. An obstacle to investigating the interactions between these proteins and dsRNA is the relative inefficiency of traditional UV-crosslinking methods for extended regions of dsRNA. We have therefore developed an alternative procedure for RNA-protein photo-crosslinking that efficiently induces RNA-protein crosslinks in double-stranded regions of RNA. We show that dsRNA-protein crosslinks can be induced by visible light in the presence of the dye methylene blue, which most likely mediates crosslinking by intercalating in the dsRNA helix. A recombinant dsRNA binding domain from the Drosophila staufen protein and human protein kinase R were crosslinked by UV or methylene blue to a series of dsRNAs. In each case, the degree of crosslinking was greater with methylene blue, particularly with RNAs with few single-stranded loops. Methylene blue-mediated crosslinking therefore complements and extends the existing repertoire of crosslinking methods for detecting RNA-protein interactions.[1]


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