R-loops are prevalent three-stranded non-B DNA structures composed of an RNA–DNA hybrid and a single strand of DNA. R-loops are implicated in various basic nuclear processes, such as class-switch recombination, transcription termination and chromatin patterning. Perturbations in R-loop metabolism have been linked to genomic instability and have been implicated in human disorders, including cancer. As a consequence, the accurate mapping of these structures has been of increasing interest in recent years. Here, we describe two related immunoprecipitation-based methods for mapping R-loop structures: basic DRIP-seq (DNA–RNA immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput DNA sequencing), an easy, robust, but resolution-limited technique; and DRIPc-seq (DNA–RNA immunoprecipitation followed by cDNA conversion coupled to high-throughput sequencing), a high-resolution and strand-specific iteration of the method that permits accurate R-loop mapping genome wide. Briefly, after gentle DNA extraction and restriction digestion with a cocktail of enzymes, R-loop structures are immunoprecipitated with the anti-RNA–DNA hybrid S9.6 antibody. Compared with DRIP-seq, in which the immunoprecipitated DNA is directly sequenced, DRIPc-seq permits the recovery of the RNA moiety of R-loops, and these RNA strands are subjected to strand-specific RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis. DRIPc-seq can be performed in 5 d and can be applied to any cell type, provided sufficient starting material can be collected. Accurately mapping R-loop distribution in various cell lines and under varied conditions is essential to understanding the formation, roles and dynamic resolution of these important structures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)