CARELL GROUP Research – RNA Chemistry

The Chemical Variety of RNA

The discovery of the new nucleobases in DNA has re-ignited interest in studying modified bases in RNA as well. It has been long known that tRNA contains numerous modified bases that are needed to fine-tune the translational process.

The Carell group developed new synthetic methods and prepared many of the modified RNA bases, sometimes in stable isotope-labelled versions, to enable exact quantification using sophisticated mass spectrometry. Importantly, we found altered levels of the non-canonical bases in cancer tissues, which may be an avenue towards new cancer diagnostics.

Highlight publication: "N6-methyladenosine (m6A) recruits and repels proteins to regulate mRNA homeostasis"

R. R. Edupuganti, S. Geiger, R. G. H. Lindeboom, H. Shi, P. J. Hsu, Z. Lu, S.-Y. Wang, M. P. A. Baltissen, P. W. T. C. Jansen, M. Rossa, M. Müller, H. G. Stunnenberg, C. He*, T. Carell*, M. Vermeulen*
Nature Struct. Mol. Biol. 2017, doi:10.1038/nsmb.3462

Modified RNA bases synthesized by the Carell group with isotope labels for mass spectrometry based quantification. Red boxes show 13C centers.

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