The Micura group aims at a comprehensive molecular understanding of the central biological processes of nucleic acids, such as ribosomal translation and gene regulation by non-coding RNAs. Our group has a strong focus on chemical synthesis of ribonucleic acids (RNA) and on nucleic acid structure and function evaluation. In particular, the various aspects of chemically modified RNA – including naturally occuring as well as artificial modifications – are in the center of our research interests.
Within this SFB the Micura group aims at developing RNA tools for cellular (protein-free) selective methylation and/or labeling (with Lusser and Erlacher). To achieve this, we engineer riboswitch aptamers to trigger chemical reactivity of the riboswitch ligand which in several cases is a cofactor (e.g. SAM). Intensive interconnection within the consortium arises from our core expertise in chemical synthesis and biophysical characterization of modified RNAs, needed for projects headed by Jantsch, Schaefer, Rossmanith, Martinez, Vilardo, Indik, Kalyna, Bernecky, Pauli and Erlacher (inosine, mRNA,rRNA and tRNA modifications/methylations).