Theses Doctoral

SPIDR: The development and application of a highly multiplexed CLIP-seq method

Wolin, Erica

RNA binding proteins (RBPs) play crucial roles in regulating every stage of the mRNA life cycle and mediating non-coding RNA functions. Despite their importance, the specific roles of most RBPs remain unexplored because we do not know what specific RNAs most RBPs bind. Current methods, such as crosslinking and immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (CLIP-seq), have expanded our knowledge of RBP-RNA interactions but are generally limited by their ability to map only one RBP at a time.

To address this limitation, we developed SPIDR (Split and Pool Identification of RBP targets), a massively multiplexed method to simultaneously profile global RNA binding sites of dozens to hundreds of RBPs in a single experiment. SPIDR employs split-pool barcoding coupled with antibody-bead barcoding to increase the throughput of current CLIP methods by two orders of magnitude. SPIDR reliably identifies precise, single-nucleotide RNA binding sites for diverse classes of RBPs simultaneously.

Using SPIDR, we explored changes in RBP binding upon mTOR inhibition and identified that 4EBP1 acts as a dynamic RBP that selectively binds to 5’-untranslated regions of specific translationally repressed mRNAs only upon mTOR inhibition. This observation provides a potential mechanism to explain the specificity of translational regulation controlled by mTOR signaling. SPIDR has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of RNA biology and both transcriptional and post-transcriptional gene regulation by enabling rapid, de novo discovery of RNA-protein interactions at an unprecedented scale.


  • thumnail for Wolin_columbia_0054D_18026.pdf Wolin_columbia_0054D_18026.pdf application/pdf 27 MB Download File

More About This Work

Academic Units
Biological Sciences
Thesis Advisors
Jovanovic, Marko
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
August 16, 2023