Biology of RNA – New epitranscriptomic modifications and novel imaging approaches
Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology
The absence of
capped RNA is considered as a hallmark of prokaryotic gene expression. Recent
developments combine next-generation sequencing with a chemo-enzymatic capture
step that allow the enrichment of rare 5’-modified RNA
from bacteria. This approach identified covalent cap-like linkage of a specific
set of small RNAs to the ubiquitous redox cofactor NAD, and a profound
influence of this modification on RNA turnover.[1,2] The modification revealed
an unexpected connection between redox biology and RNA processing. I will
discuss possible roles of the NAD modification as well as broader implications
for structurally related cofactors and metabolites which may also be linked to
RNAs, leading to a new epitranscriptomic layer of information encoded in the
chemical structure of the attached cofactors. I will further discuss our
efforts to unravel the structure and function of bacterial capping and decapping
enzymes, and to understand the influence of cap structures on bacterial
physiology. I will present progress on NAD capping in pathogenic bacteria,
as well as in eukaryotic organisms.
In the last
part of the talk, new RNA imaging approaches based on RNA aptamers and
contact-quenched probes will be presented.[5,6]
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K. Höfer, G. Nübel & A. Jäschke, Nature
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Frindert, Curr. Opin. Microbiol. 2016 (30) 44.
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Abele, J. Frindert, J. Schlotthauer, J. Grawenhoff, J. Du, D. J. Patel & A.
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Nucleic Acids Res. 2015 (43) e144.