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Prof. Dr. Thorsten Stafforst “Site-specific Manipulation of Nucleic Acids with (Bio)Chemical Tools”

October 9, 2017 @ 4:30 pm

Prof. Dr. Thorsten Stafforst

Interfaculty Institute of Biochemistry, Auf der Morgenstelle 15, 72076 Tübingen (Germany)


RNA modifications shape the expression of genetic information in many ways. Tools to manipulate single nucleobases at specific sites in selected transcripts in vivo are rare. We are engineering artifical RNA-guided proteins that allow to perform site-directed RNA editing in a highly rational and specific way (1-5). We will present new data that demonstrate highly specific and parallel editing of several endogenous transcripts, as well as data concercing the specificity, the potency and the duration of the effect. Furthermore we apply site-directed RNA editing for the switch of protein localization (5) and the ready implementation of photocaging (3, 5). Finally, we will present first data on the engineering of chemically stabilized antisense oligonucleotides that allow for the harnessing of endogenous ADARs to edit endogenous transcripts thereby avoiding the expression of an engineered protein. The latter was limiting in a recently published editing strategy (4). Furthermore, we have introduced psoralen as a photo-activatible crosslink for nucleic acids (6-7).


Keywords: Chemical Biology, Antisense Oligonucleotides, RNA Editing, Artificial Riboproteins, Photo Caging



(1) An Engineered Guide RNA-Dependent Deaminase Selectively Repairs Point Mutations

Stafforst et al., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2012, 51, 11166.

(2) Improving Directed RNA Editing In Vitro and in Cell Culture by Chemical Modification of the guideRNA

Vogel et al., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 6267.

(3) Site-directed RNA editing in vivo can be triggered by the light-driven assembly of an artificial riboprotein

Hanswillemenke et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 15 875-81.

(4) Harnessing human ADAR2 for RNA repair – Recoding a PINK1 mutation rescues mitophagy

Wettengel et al. Nucl. Acids Res. 2017, online

(5) Switching protein localization by site-directed RNA editing under control of light

Vogel et al., ACS Synth. Biol. 2017, online

(6) Photolyase-like Repair of Psoralen-crosslinked Nucleic Acids

Stafforst et al., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2011, 50, 9483.

(7) Photoactivation of a Psoralen-blocked Luciferase Gene by Blue Light

Stafforst et al., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 12448.


October 9, 2017
4:30 pm
Event Category:




Vladimir Torbeev