Genome-wide technology for determining RNA stability in mammalian cells: Historical perspective and recent advantages based on modified nucleotide labeling.
Changing the abundance of transcripts by regulated RNA degradation is a critical step in the control of various biological pathways. Recently, genome-wide inhibitor-free technologies for determining RNA stabilities in mammalian cells have been developed. In these methods, endogenous RNAs are pulse labeled by uridine analogs [e.g., 4-thiouridine (4sU), 5-etyniluridine (EU) and 5'-bromo-uridine (BrU)], followed by purification of labeled de novo RNAs. These technologies have revealed that the specific half-life of each mRNA is closely related to its physiological function. Genes with short-lived mRNAs are significantly enriched among regulatory genes, while genes with long-lived mRNAs are enriched among housekeeping genes. This review describes the recent progress of experimental procedures for measuring RNA stability.