Next-generation sequencing: A new avenue to understand viral RNA–protein interactions

Yiyang Zhou, Stephanea L. Sotcheff, Andrew L. Routh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The genomes of RNA viruses present an astonishing source of both sequence and structural diversity. From intracellular viral RNA-host interfaces to interactions between the RNA genome and structural proteins in virus particles themselves, almost the entire viral lifecycle is accompanied by a myriad of RNA–protein interactions that are required to fulfill their replicative potential. It is therefore important to characterize such rich and dynamic collections of viral RNA–protein interactions to understand virus evolution and their adaptation to their hosts and environment. Recent advances in next-generation sequencing technologies have allowed the characterization of viral RNA–protein interactions, including both transient and conserved interactions, where molecular and structural approaches have fallen short. In this review, we will provide a methodological overview of the high-throughput techniques used to study viral RNA–protein interactions, their biochemical mechanisms, and how they evolved from classical methods as well as one another. We will discuss how different techniques have fueled virus research to characterize how viral RNA and proteins interact, both locally and on a global scale. Finally, we will present examples on how these techniques influence the studies of clinically important pathogens such as HIV-1 and SARS-CoV-2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101924
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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