Check out example codes for "remove everything after a character in r". It will help you in understanding the concepts better.

Code Example 1

a <- c("NM_020506.1","NM_020519.1","NM_001030297.2","NM_010281.2","NM_011419.3", "NM_053155.2")

gsub("\\..*","",a)
[1] "NM_020506"    "NM_020519"    "NM_001030297" "NM_010281"    "NM_011419"    "NM_053155"

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