In vivo structure probing of RNA in Archaea: novel insights into the ribosome structure of Methanosarcina acetivorans

Allison M. Williams, Elizabeth A. Jolley, Michel Geovanni Santiago-Martínez, Cheong X.I.N. Chan, Robin R. Gutell, James Gregory Ferry, Philip C. Bevilacqua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Structure probing combined with next-generation sequencing (NGS) has provided novel insights into RNA structure–function relationships. To date, such studies have focused largely on bacteria and eukaryotes, with little attention given to the third domain of life, archaea. Furthermore, functional RNAs have not been extensively studied in archaea, leaving open questions about RNA structure and function within this domain of life. With archaeal species being diverse and having many similarities to both bacteria and eukaryotes, the archaea domain has the potential to be an evolutionary bridge. In this study, we introduce a method for probing RNA structure in vivo in the archaea domain of life. We investigated the structure of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) from Methanosarcina acetivorans, a well-studied anaerobic archaeal species, grown with either methanol or acetate. After probing the RNA in vivo with dimethyl sulfate (DMS), Structure-seq2 libraries were generated, sequenced, and analyzed. We mapped the reactivity of DMS onto the secondary structure of the ribosome, which we determined independently with comparative analysis, and confirmed the accuracy of DMS probing in M. acetivorans. Accessibility of the rRNA to DMS in the two carbon sources was found to be quite similar, although some differences were found. Overall, this study establishes the Structure-seq2 pipeline in the archaea domain of life and informs about ribosomal structure within M. acetivorans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1610-1620
Number of pages11
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology

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