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New antibiotic targets based on novel RNA modifications

One area of interest is the discovery of yet uncharacterized RNA modifications in bacteria which often play an important role in virulence. As a result of early evolutionary development of RNA, these modifications might have completely different targets in the cell.

One recent finding describes a bacterial RNA modification inhibiting the host’s immune response by blocking the recognition receptor TLR-7 of the immune cells. A virulence related mechanism was discovered in which RNA modifications are responsible for increasing the translation rate of proteins, protecting the bacterial cell from oxidative stress. In addition, many more functions have been determined, like the activity of RNA modification related proteins as active virulence factors.

We try to discover novel RNA modifications in bacteria by applying our NAIL-MS approach. Furthermore, we investigate the function and metabolism of already known and novel RNA modifications by different NAIL-MS based strategies and methods.


  • Valentin
  • Steffen



  • Reichle V., Weber V. and Kellner S. (2018) NAIL-MS in E. coli determines the source and fate of methylation in tRNA , ChemBioChem, PMID: 30328661
  • Reichle VF, Kaiser S, Heiss M, Hagelskamp F, Borland K, Kellner S. (2018) Surpassing limits of static RNA modification analysis with dynamic NAIL-MS, Methods, PMID: 30395967