PhD Position "New natural RNA modifications" Institute for Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology

New natural RNA modifications.


We have recently discovered that certain regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) in E. coli are covalently linked to the ubiquitous redox cofactor NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) in a way similar to a eukaryotic cap (Cahová et al., Nature 2015 (519) 374). First experiments indicate a role of this modification for the function and for the turnover of the sRNAs. This first description of a cap-like structure in prokaryotes provides an unprecedented connection between regulation and metabolism.


NAD is only one of many biological molecules that carries a nucleotide that could lead to incorporation into RNA (Jäschke et al., Curr. Opin. Microbiol. 2016 (30) 44), such as Coenzyme A, FAD, SAM, UDP-sugars, or CDP-DAGs. Within this project we want to develop capture methods for RNAs carrying such modifications, identify the RNAs by high-throughput sequencing, and then study biogenesis and function in vivo.


This project will involve a wide variety of methods from biochemistry and molecular biology, as well as analysis of NGS data. We are looking for a PhD student with an M. Sc. in biochemistry, molecular biotechnology or related disciplines and hands-on experience in RNA or protein biochemistry or chemical biology.