easyCLIP analysis of RNA-protein interactions incorporating absolute quantification

Douglas F. Porter, Weili Miao, Xue Yang, Grant A. Goda, Andrew L. Ji, Laura K.H. Donohue, Maria M. Aleman, Daniel Dominguez, Paul A. Khavari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Quantitative criteria to identify proteins as RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) are presently lacking, as are criteria to define RBP target RNAs. Here, we develop an ultraviolet (UV) cross-linking immunoprecipitation (CLIP)-sequencing method, easyCLIP. easyCLIP provides absolute cross-link rates, as well as increased simplicity, efficiency, and capacity to visualize RNA libraries during sequencing library preparation. Measurement of >200 independent cross-link experiments across >35 proteins identifies an RNA cross-link rate threshold that distinguishes RBPs from non-RBPs and defines target RNAs as those with a complex frequency unlikely for a random protein. We apply easyCLIP to the 33 most recurrent cancer mutations across 28 RBPs, finding increased RNA binding per RBP molecule for KHDRBS2 R168C, A1CF E34K and PCBP1 L100P/Q cancer mutations. Quantitating RBP-RNA interactions can thus nominate proteins as RBPs and define the impact of specific disease-associated RBP mutations on RNA association.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1569
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


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