R-loops are evolutionarily conserved three-stranded structures that result from the formation of stable DNA:RNA hybrids in the genome. R-loops have attracted increasing interest in recent years as potent regulators of gene expression and genome stability. In particular, their strong association with severe replication stress makes them potential oncogenic structures. Despite their importance, the rules that govern their formation and their dynamics are still controversial and an in-depth description of their direct impact on chromatin organization and DNA transactions is still lacking. To better understand the diversity of R-loop functions, reliable, accurate, and quantitative mapping techniques, as well as functional assays are required. Here, I review the different approaches that are currently used to do so and to highlight their individual strengths and weaknesses. In particular, I review the advantages and disadvantages of using the S9.6 antibody to map R-loops in vivo in an attempt to propose guidelines for best practices.
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