Traditionally, the ribosome is viewed as a highly conserved machinery with an invariable RNA and protein complement. The Moll lab aims to challenge this assumption and to unravel molecular pathways that cause ribosome heterogeneity in bacteria to modify their translational program in response to environmental stress.
In the frame of this SFB the Moll group aims to investigate the functional impact and biological significance of conditional tRNA modifications on translation dynamics in Escherichia coli. We will concentrate on the tRNA1Val modification introduced by the methyltransferase TrmM at position A37 to obtain a greater understanding of the regulatory potential of tRNA modifications in bacteria. Moreover, we will further investigate the role of the tRNA1Val halves in protein synthesis, as the m6A37 modification prevents cleavage of the tRNA1Val by the stress-responsive endoribonuclease MazF.