Lexogen commercializes thiol-linked alkylation method for the metabolic sequencing of RNA

Today Lexogen, the transcriptomics and next-generation sequencing company, launched the SLAMseq product family for high throughput metabolic sequencing of RNA. The kits are based on a new technology developed at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) at the Vienna BioCenter in Austria, which was published today in Nature Methods.

Current RNA-Seq methods can measure steady-state RNA levels. However, they cannot resolve the underlying kinetics of RNA turnover that contribute to total RNA levels. This has been a limitation for the application of RNA-Seq in basic research for understanding RNA metabolic pathways and gene regulation.

Lexogen has launched a family of kits based on the new genome-wide, non-invasive, quantitative, fast, and reliable SLAMseq (thiol (SH)-Linked Alkylation for the Metabolic Sequencing of RNA) method, developed by Stefan Ameres’ research group at IMBA. Compared to standard RNA-Seq the SLAMseq protocol adds only two extra steps: labeling of the RNA by adding one compound to the culture medium and pre-processing the total RNA before continuing with a standard RNA-Seq protocol. SLAMseq can differentiate between nascent RNA and existing RNA, while standard RNA-Seq measures total steady-state RNA levels only. Hence, SLAMseq allows for parallel quantification of total and newly synthesized RNA levels, without the need for biochemical isolation. Sampling at different time points reveals the complete in vivo and transcriptome-wide kinetics of RNA synthesis and degradation.

Workflow of SLAM seq


“SLAMseq adds a new dimension to standard RNA sequencing approaches by enabling easy access to intracellular RNA expression dynamics. It serves as a powerful tool for the dissection of essential biological mechanisms that control the execution of genetic information at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional level”, says IMBA group leader Stefan Ameres, who provided the scientific basis for this novel technology.

Combining SLAMseq with Lexogen’s QuantSeq 3’ mRNA-Seq Library Prep Kits results in cost-efficient library preparation and much lower sequencing depth requirements than standard RNA-Seq. This enables affordable RNA kinetics measurements at high resolution.

While the additional effort of performing SLAMseq is minor, when compared to standard RNA-Seq, metabolic RNA sequencing provides accurate resolution of RNA expression dynamics, enabling novel insights into the control and regulation of gene expression.

“Deciphering the Book of Life has become sort of easy, understanding it is still a huge challenge. SLAMseq will help us grasp more of what these words in the genome really mean, which is at the very heart of our mission” says Alexander Seitz, Lexogen’s founder and CEO.

Herzog VA, Reichholf B, Neumann T, Rescheneder P, Bhat P, Burkard TR, Wlotzka W, von Haeseler A, Johannes Zuber J, Stefan L Ameres SL> (2017) Thiol-linked alkylation of RNA to assess expression dynamics. Nature Methods [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]

Source – PR Newswire

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