Jun.-Prof. Dr. Marie-Luise Winz

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Marie-Luise Winz
Junior-Professor Pharmaceutical Chemistry
Institute of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences
Staudingerweg 5, 55128 Mainz

Research Interests

We are interested in pathways for quality control of eukaryotic translation: Proteins are central to any living organism. To protect cells from dysfunctional and toxic, disease-causing proteins formed by aberrant translation, eukaryotic translation quality control pathways detect translation defects and remove aberrant protein products, together with associated faulty mRNA blueprints and sometimes faulty ribosomal components. Much is still unknown about the molecular mechanisms underlying translation quality control, and how these interact with other cellular machineries and with organismal health and life cycle. These are research objects in my group. We use sequencing-based methods, most prominently UV crosslinking and analysis of cDNA (CRAC), to study RNA-protein interactions, translation and RNA modification in the context of co-translational quality control. These techniques provide a unique toolbox to approach our key questions:

  1. Which molecular interactions underlie co-translational quality control triggering and how are different targets distinguished?
  2. How does co-translational quality control interact with cellular stress responses, translation regulation and RNA modification?
  3. How does co-translational quality control work in neurons and does it change with ageing?

With our RNA-centred research, we want to make fundamental contributions to the understanding of translation quality control and its links to age-related neurodegenerative diseases, to ultimately inform efforts to cure, prevent or delay the onset of such diseases.

Key techniques: UV crosslinking and analysis of cDNA (CRAC - similar to CLIP), sucrose gradients, reporter systems, sequencing

Research system/organism: S. cerevisiae, we are planning to expand to mammalian cell lines soon, and possibly C. elegans later.

Five Most Relevant Publications
  1. M.L. Winz, L. Peil, T.W. Turowski, J. Rappsilber, D. Tollervey. Molecular interactions between Hel2 and RNA supporting ribosome-associated quality control. 2019, Nature Communications, 10(1), 563. Highlighted in Faculty 1000. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-08382-z
  2. M.L. Winz, H. Cahová, G. Nübel, J. Frindert, K. Höfer, A. Jäschke. Capture and sequencing of NAD-capped RNA sequences with NAD captureSeq. 2017, Nature Protocols, 12 (1), 122-149. https://www.nature.com/articles/nprot.2016.163
  3. Cahová*, M.L. Winz*, K. Höfer*, G. Nübel, A. Jäschke. NAD captureSeq indicates NAD as a bacterial cap for a subset of regulatory RNAs. 2015, Nature, 519:374- 377.
    (*: equal contributions). Highlighted in Faculty 1000. https://www.nature.com/articles/nature14020
  4. Ameta*, M.L. Winz*, C. Previti, A. Jäschke. Next-generation sequencing reveals how RNA catalysts evolve from random space. 2014, Nucleic Acids Research, 42(2):1303-10.
    (*: equal contributions) Highlighted in Faculty 1000. https://academic.oup.com/nar/article/42/2/1303/1029368
  5. M.L. Winz, A. Samanta, D. Benzinger, A. Jäschke, Site-specific terminal and internal labeling of RNA by poly(A) polymerase tailing and copper-catalyzed or copper-free strain-promoted click chemistry. 2012, Nucleic Acids Research, 40(10):e78. https://academic.oup.com/nar/article/40/10/e78/2411714