Nature, Vol.583, No.7817, 638-+, 2020
Dynamic RNA acetylation revealed by quantitative cross-evolutionary mapping
A method termed ac(4)C-seq is introduced for the transcriptome-wide mapping of the RNA modificationN(4)-acetylcytidine, revealing widespread temperature-dependent acetylation that facilitates thermoadaptation in hyperthermophilic archaea. N-4-acetylcytidine (ac(4)C) is an ancient and highly conserved RNA modification that is present on tRNA and rRNA and has recently been investigated in eukaryotic mRNA(1-3). However, the distribution, dynamics and functions of cytidine acetylation have yet to be fully elucidated. Here we report ac(4)C-seq, a chemical genomic method for the transcriptome-wide quantitative mapping of ac(4)C at single-nucleotide resolution. In human and yeast mRNAs, ac(4)C sites are not detected but can be induced-at a conserved sequence motif-via the ectopic overexpression of eukaryotic acetyltransferase complexes. By contrast, cross-evolutionary profiling revealed unprecedented levels of ac(4)C across hundreds of residues in rRNA, tRNA, non-coding RNA and mRNA from hyperthermophilic archaea. (AcC)-C-4 is markedly induced in response to increases in temperature, and acetyltransferase-deficient archaeal strains exhibit temperature-dependent growth defects. Visualization of wild-type and acetyltransferase-deficient archaeal ribosomes by cryo-electron microscopy provided structural insights into the temperature-dependent distribution of ac(4)C and its potential thermoadaptive role. Our studies quantitatively define the ac(4)C landscape, providing a technical and conceptual foundation for elucidating the role of this modification in biology and disease(4-6).