m6A-ELISA, a simple method for quantifying N6-methyladenosine from mRNA populations

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N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is a widely studied and abundant RNA modification. The m6A mark regulates the fate of RNAs in various ways, which in turn, drives changes in cell physiology, development, and disease pathology. Over the last decade, numerous methods have been developed to map and quantify m6A sites genome-wide through deep sequencing. Alternatively, m6A levels can be quantified from a population of RNAs using techniques such as liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry or thin layer chromatography. However, many methods for quantifying m6A levels involve extensive protocols and specialized data analysis, and often only a few samples can be handled in a single experiment. Here, we developed a simple method for determining relative m6A levels in mRNA populations from various sources based on enzyme-linked immunosorbent-based assay (m6A-ELISA). We have optimized various steps of m6A-ELISA such as sample preparation and the background signal resulting from the primary antibody. We validated the method using mRNA populations from budding yeast and mouse embryonic stem cells. The full protocol takes less than a day, requiring only 25 ng of mRNA. The m6A-ELISA protocol is quick, cost-effective, and scalable, making it a valuable tool for determining relative m6A levels in samples from various sources that could be adapted to detect other mRNA modifications.

Journal details

Journal RNA
Volume 29
Issue number 5
Pages 705-712
Available online
Publication date