Methods for the study of ribonuclease targeting chimeras (RiboTACs)

Noah A. Springer, Samantha M. Meyer, Amirhossein Taghavi, Raphael I. Benhamou, Yuquan Tong, Jessica L. Childs-Disney, Matthew D. Disney*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Recently, a class of heterobifunctional small molecules called ribonuclease targeting chimeras (RiboTACs) have been developed that selectively induce degradation of RNAs in cells. These molecules function by recruiting latent ribonuclease (RNase L), an endoribonuclease involved in the innate immune response, to targeted RNA structures. The RiboTACs must activate RNase L in proximity to the RNA, resulting in cleavage of the RNA and downstream degradation. To develop and validate a new RiboTAC, several steps must be taken. First, small molecule activators that bind to RNase L must be identified. Next, since RNase L is only catalytically active upon ligand-induced homodimerization, the capability of identified small molecules to activate RNase L must be assessed. RNase L-activating small molecules should then be coupled to validated RNA-binding small molecules to construct the active RiboTAC. This RiboTAC can finally be assessed in cells for RNase L-dependent degradation of target RNAs. This chapter will provide several methods that are helpful to develop and assess RiboTACs throughout this process, including recombinant RNase L expression, methods to assess RNase L engagement in vitro such as saturation transfer difference nuclear magnetic resonance (STD NMR), an in vitro assay to assess activation of RNase L, and cellular methods to demonstrate RNase L-dependent cleavage.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationEnzymes in RNA Science and Biotechnology
Subtitle of host publicationPart B
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages50
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Publication series

NameMethods in Enzymology
ISSN (Print)0076-6879
ISSN (Electronic)1557-7988

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023


  • Induced proximity
  • RNA
  • RNase
  • Ribonuclease targeting chimeras (RiboTACs)
  • Targeted degradation


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