Isomerization from uridine to pseudouridine (pseudouridylation) is largely catalyzed by a family of small ribonucleoproteins called box H/ACA RNPs, each of which contains one unique small RNA-the box H/ACA RNA. The specificity of the pseudouridylation reaction is determined by the base-pairing interactions between the guide sequence of the box H/ACA RNA and the target sequence within an RNA substrate. Thus, by creating a new box H/ACA RNA harboring an artificial guide sequence that base-pairs with the substrate sequence, one can site-specifically introduce pseudouridines into virtually any RNA (e.g., mRNA, ribosomal RNA, small nuclear RNA, telomerase RNA and so on). Pseudouridylation changes the properties of a uridine residue and is likely to alter the role of its corresponding RNA in certain cellular processes, thereby enabling basic research into the effects of RNA modifications. Here we take a TRM4 reporter gene (also known as NCL1) as an example, and we present a protocol for designing a box H/ACA RNA to site-specifically pseudouridylate TRM4 mRNA. Disease-related mutation can result in early termination of translation by creating a premature termination codon (PTC); however, pseudouridylation at the PTC can suppress this translation termination (nonsense suppression). Thus, the experimental procedures described in this protocol may provide a novel way to treat PTC-related diseases. This protocol takes 10-13 d to complete.
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