Bohnsack, Markus, Prof. Dr.

Professor of Molecular Biology

  • 2005 Dr. rer. nat. (PhD) at the Centre for Molecular Biology Heidelberg (ZMBH), University of Heidelberg
  • 2006-2008 Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Edinburgh, UK
  • 2008-2012 Group leader at the Goethe University, Frankfurt
  • 2009-2012 Adjunct Investigator at the Cluster of Excellence Frankfurt
  • since 2012 Professor of Molecular Biology, University Medical Centre (UMG), Göttingen
  • since 2014 Speaker of the PhD program “Molecular Biology of Cells”
  • since 2019 Speaker of the Göttingen Graduate Center for Neurosciences, Biophysics, and Molecular Biosciences (GGNB)

Major Research Interests

RNAs and ribonucleoprotein complexes (RNPs) are involved in many key cellular processes, including translation and at various levels in the regulation of gene expression. Our group is interested in studying the biogenesis, dynamics, nuclear export and functions of several different classes of RNPs in both yeast and mammalian cells. We employ genome-wide techniques such as UV crosslinking and analysis of cDNA (CRAC) as well as proteomics to discover new protein-protein and protein-RNA interactions in vivo. Functional analysis is then performed using methods from cell and molecular biology, biochemistry as well as bioinformatics, allowing us to gain insights into the many roles of RNP complexes. Several projects aim to understand the biogenesis of ribosomes, a highly energy consuming process that is regulated by proto-oncogenes and tumour suppressors. In particular, we focus on elucidating the roles and regulation of key enzymatic factors such as RNA helicases and exo- and endonucleases that catalyse irreversible maturation steps and thereby drive the directionality of the pathway. Determination of the functions of such enzymes also provides the basis for understanding how this process is modulated in response to environmental and developmental cues. Furthermore, multiple genetic diseases, termed ribosomopathies, are caused by mutations in ribosome biogenesis cofactors or ribosomal proteins and the detailed characterisation of these factors enables us to reveal the molecular basis of such disorders. Interestingly, we have recently found that several RNA helicases involved in ribosome biogenesis also function in different cellular processes, indicating that they may play important roles in the cross-regulation of these pathways in RNA metabolism. Another major aspect of our work is the identification of the substrates and functions of RNA modification enzymes. This allows us to determine the roles of the RNA modifications they introduce in regulating the biogenesis and functions of RNAs and RNPs in vivo.

Homepage Department/Research Group

Selected Recent Publications

  • Bohnsack KE*, Bohnsack MT* (2019) Uncovering the assembly pathway of human ribosomes and its emerging links to disease. EMBO J 38, e100278
  • Brüning L, Hackert P, Martin R, Davila Gallesio J, Aquino GR, Urlaub H, Sloan KE*, Bohnsack MT* (2018) RNA helicases mediate structural transitions and compositional changes in pre-ribosomal complexes. Nat Commun 9, 5383
  • Sloan KE, Bohnsack MT (2018) Unravelling the mechanisms of RNA helicase regulation. Trends Biochem Sci 43, 237-250
  • Warda AS*, Kretschmer J*, Hackert P, Lenz C, Urlaub H, Höbartner C, Sloan KE, Bohnsack MT (2017) Human METTL16 is a N6-methyladenosine (m6A) methyltransferase that targets pre-mRNAs and various non-coding RNAs. EMBO Rep 18: 2004-2014
  • Memet I, Doebele C, Sloan KE#, Bohnsack MT# (2017) The G-patch protein NF-KB-repressing factor mediates the recruitment of the exonuclease XRN2 and activation of the RNA helicase DHX15 in human ribosome biogenesis. Nucleic Acids Res 45: 5359-5374.
  • Warda AS, Freytag B, Haag S, Sloan KE, Görlich D, Bohnsack MT (2016) Effects of the Bowen-Conradi syndrome mutation in EMG1 on its nuclear import, stability and nucleolar recruitment. Hum Mol Genet 25: 5353-5364.
  • Haag S*, Sloan KE*, Ranjan N*, Warda AS*, Kretschmer J, Blessing C, Hübner B, Seikowski J, Dennerlein S, Rehling P, Rodnina MV, Höbartner C#, Bohnsack MT# (2016) NSUN3 and ABH1 modify the wobble position of mt-tRNAMet to expand codon recognition in mitochondrial translation. EMBO J 35: 2104-2119.
  • Heininger AU, Hackert P, Andreou AZ, Boon KL, Memet I, Prior M, Clancy A, Schmidt B, Urlaub H, Schleiff E, Sloan KE, Deckers M, Lührmann R, Enderlein J, Klostermeier D, Rehling P, Bohnsack MT (2016) Protein cofactor competition regulates the action of a multifunctional RNA helicase in different pathways. RNA Biol 13: 320-330.
  • Sloan KE, Bohnsack MT, Watkins NJ (2013) The 5S RNP couples p53 homeostasis to ribosome biogenesis and nucleolar stress. Cell Reports 5: 237-247.
  • Bohnsack MT, Martin R, Granneman S, Ruprecht M, Schleiff E, Tollervey D (2009) Prp43 bound at different sites on the pre-rRNA performs distinct functions in ribosome synthesis. Mol Cell 36: 583-592.
  • Bohnsack MT, Kos M, Tollervey D (2008) Quantitative analysis of snoRNA association with pre-ribosomes and release of snR30 by Rok1 helicase. EMBO Rep 9: 1230-1236.