Ribosome Profiling (Ribo-seq) has revolutionized the study of RNA translation by providing information on ribosome positions across all translated RNAs with nucleotide-resolution. Yet several technical limitations restrict the sequencing depth of such experiments, the most common of which is the overabundance of rRNA fragments. Various strategies can be employed to tackle this issue, including the use of commercial rRNA depletion kits. However, as they are designed for more standardized RNAseq experiments, they may perform suboptimally in Ribo-seq. In order to overcome this, it is possible to use custom biotinylated oligos complementary to the most abundant rRNA fragments, however currently no computational framework exists to aid the design of optimal oligos.
Researchers from the Netherlands Cancer Institute first show that a major confounding issue is that the rRNA fragments generated via Ribo-seq vary significantly with differing experimental conditions, suggesting that a “one-size-fits-all” approach may be inefficient. Therefore they developed Ribo-ODDR, an oligo design pipeline integrated with a user-friendly interface that assists in oligo selection for efficient experiment-specific rRNA depletion. Ribo-ODDR uses preliminary data to identify the most abundant rRNA fragments, and calculates the rRNA depletion efficiency of potential oligos. The researchers experimentally show that Ribo-ODDR designed oligos outperform commercially available kits and lead to a significant increase in rRNA depletion in Ribo-seq.
The workflow diagram for the Ribo-ODDR pipeline (novel oligo design mode)
Availability – Ribo-ODDR is freely accessible at https://github.com/fallerlab/Ribo-ODDR