RNAs often accomplish their diverse functions through direct interactions with RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) in a sequence- and/or structure-dependent manner. RNA G-quadruplexes (rG4s) are unique secondary structures formed by guanine-rich RNA sequences which impact RNA function independently and in combination with RBPs. Efforts from several labs have identified dozens of rG4 specific RBPs (rG4BPs), although the research is still in the growing phase. Here we present methods for the systematic identification of rG4BPs using a pull-down approach that takes advantage of the chemical modification of guanine bases. This allows abolishing the rG4 structures while still maintaining the base composition intact, and hence helps in recognizing true rG4BPS (in contrast to G-rich motif binders). In combination with other biochemical assays, such an approach can be efficiently used for the identification and characterization of bona fide rG4BPs.

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