Matthias Zimmer    email
Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research


Jun. Prof. Dr. Neva Caliskan (Würzburg)
Promotion Committee:
Jun. Prof. Dr. Neva Caliskan (Würzburg)
Prof. Dr. Utz Fischer (Würzburg)
Prof. Dr. Thomas Pietschmann (Hannover)

Identification and Characterization of trans-Regulators of Programmed Ribosomal Frameshifting

Programmed Ribosomal Frameshift (PRF) is found in all domains of life. Especially (+)ssRNA viruses have been shown to expand the coding capacity of their small genomes via PRF. Frameshift for example in the mosquito-borne Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV), West Nile Virus (WNV) and Chikungunya Virus (CHIKV) has been found an integral part of successfully establishing infections. At the same time, efficiencies of PRF can vary significantly between cell types [1]. Recently, it has been discovered that proteins and miRNAs can enhance the efficiency of PRF [2; 3] which might present a possible explanation for differential PRF. The project presented here aims at the discovery of new trans-modulators of PRF in infections with emerging Flavi- and Alphaviruses. Initially a dual fluorescence reporter will be used to quantify PRF. Interacting proteins and RNAs will be discovered by co-precipitation and further characterized biochemically and biophysically.   

(1) Melian et al. (2010) J Virol.
(2) Napthine et al. (2017) Nat. Commun.
(3) Belew et al. (2014) Nature.