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Professor Christiane Berger-Schaffitzel

Translation, Protein and mRNA Quality Control

Current work in the lab ranges from eukaryotic translation initiation, via regulation of translation termination to co-translational translocation of membrane proteins via the bacterial holo-translocon. We are particularly interested in how cells recognize problems during protein synthesis and target the defective proteins and their encoding mRNAs to degradation. These processes are vital to all organisms, and even minor problems in mRNA or protein quality control mechanisms give rise to diseases. Our research is funded by the BBSRC and MRC and recently via a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award.

In all our projects, we rely on biochemical methods, using in vitro translation systems. Most projects in the lab also involve biophysics and structural biology, crystallography and cryo-EM. We have established a Wellcome Trust-funded GW4 Facility for high-resolution Cryo-EM with a 200kV Talos Arctica with energy filter and K2 Direct Electron Detector. Image processing is supported by a BBSRC-funded BlueCryo high-performance computing cluster. 

Research keywords

  • Nonsense-Mediated messenger RNA Decay
  • Eukaryotic Translation Initiation and Termination
  • Human Ribosome
  • Membrane Protein Synthesis
  • Folding and Quality Control
  • In vitro Translation
  • Cryo-EM and Image Processing