Recoding Mechanisms in Infections

Many important viruses such as Ebola, Influenza, and HIV use RNA as genetic material. These viruses have an extremely small genome size compared to the eukaryotic host genomes, and therefore employ various alternative translation strategies such as stop codon read through, leaky scanning, non-IRES initiation and ribosome frameshifting to express their genes by the host translation machinery. Interestingly, the same strategies are also used in the host’s cellular gene expression. With our research we aim to understand how translational recoding changes the rules of standard decoding, allows simultaneous encoding of multiple proteins from the same mRNA and regulates gene expression in time and space.

Leader

Jun Prof Dr Neva Caliskan

"Understanding the mechanisms of RNA recoding during infections will give us new insights into translational regulation, which might be beneficial for developing novel gene therapies in future."

Jun. Prof. Neva Caliskan

Many important viruses such as Ebola, Influenza, and HIV use RNA as genetic material. These viruses have an extremely small genome size compared to the eukaryotic host genomes, and therefore employ various alternative translation strategies such as stop codon read through, leaky scanning, non-IRES initiation and ribosome frameshifting to express their genes by the host translation machinery. Interestingly, the same strategies are also used in the host’s cellular gene expression. With our research we aim to understand how translational recoding changes the rules of standard decoding, allows simultaneous encoding of multiple proteins from the same mRNA and regulates gene expression in time and space.

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