Chemical Method to Sequence 5-Formylcytosine on RNA

Ang Li, Xuemeng Sun, A. Emilia Arguello, Ralph E. Kleiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Epitranscriptomic RNA modifications can regulate biological processes, but there remains a major gap in our ability to identify and measure individual modifications at nucleotide resolution. Here we present Mal-Seq, a chemical method for sequencing 5-formylcytosine (f5C) modifications on RNA based on the selective and efficient malononitrile-mediated labeling of f5C residues to generate adducts that are read as C-to-T mutations upon reverse transcription and polymerase chain reaction amplification. We apply Mal-Seq to characterize the prevalence of f5C at the wobble position of mt-tRNA(Met) in different organisms and tissue types and find that high-level f5C modification is present in mammals but lacking in lower eukaryotes. Our work sheds light on mitochondrial tRNA modifications throughout eukaryotic evolution and provides a general platform for characterizing the f5C epitranscriptome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-508
Number of pages6
JournalACS chemical biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 18 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biochemistry


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