Quantitative tRNA-sequencing uncovers metazoan tissue-specific tRNA regulation

Otis Pinkard, Sean McFarland, Thomas Sweet, Jeff Coller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transfer RNAs (tRNA) are quintessential in deciphering the genetic code; disseminating nucleic acid triplets into correct amino acid identity. While this decoding function is clear, an emerging theme is that tRNA abundance and functionality can powerfully impact protein production rate, folding, activity, and messenger RNA stability. Importantly, however, the expression pattern of tRNAs is obliquely known. Here we present Quantitative Mature tRNA sequencing (QuantM-tRNA seq), a technique to monitor tRNA abundance and sequence variants secondary to RNA modifications. With QuantM-tRNA seq, we assess the tRNA transcriptome in mammalian tissues. We observe dramatic distinctions in isodecoder expression and known tRNA modifications between tissues. Remarkably, despite dramatic changes in tRNA isodecoder gene expression, the overall anticodon pool of each tRNA family is similar across tissues. These findings suggest that while anticodon pools appear to be buffered via an unknown mechanism, underlying transcriptomic and epitranscriptomic differences suggest a more complex tRNA regulatory landscape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4104
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Quantitative tRNA-sequencing uncovers metazoan tissue-specific tRNA regulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this