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The Chemical Basis of RNA Epigenetics

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "EPiR" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 80539

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Total cost 2˙486˙375 €
 EC max contribution 2˙486˙375 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-ADG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-10-01   to  2022-09-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

The genetic code consists of a defined sequence of four canonical nucleosides and the sequence of these bases carries the blueprints of all life on earth. It is apparent that this sequence information alone is not sufficient to explain how a multicellular organism can establish specialized cells like the 200 known cells types of a human body. For this, a second information layer is required and since a few years, it is apparent that this information layer is strongly based on Chemistry. Histones, DNA and RNA are the target of sophisticated chemical modification, which establishes a second layer of information. This proposal aims at decoding this chemical code on RNA, specifically on messenger RNA. More than 150 chemical derivatives of RNA nucleosides are known and many more await discovery. We are proposing a program to study RNA modifications and to decipher their function. We are expecting to answer key questions about the structures, the distribution and the biological function of numerous known and yet unknown chemical RNA derivatives that brings us deep into unexplored areas of science. Since some of the modified bases equip RNA with yet unknown reactivity we will study the functional aspects of reactive bases, which allows us to tackle some of the most important questions associated with the RNA world theory. Our results will move Europe into a central position in the new field of RNA epigenetics, which has the potential to become the next big wave in science 63 years after the discovery of the double helix structure. We are perfectly positioned to move the field forward. We established quantitative methods to study modified bases that uncovered a new biological principles in cancer cells (Carell, Carmeliet, Lamberts Nature 2016) and we contributed to the RNA world theory (Carell Science 2016). We applied proteomic tools to learn about the function of new DNA bases that we partially even discovered (Carell, Vermeulen Cell 2013; Carell Nat. Chem. Biol. 2014).


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Milda NainytÄ—, Tynchtyk Amatov, Thomas Carell
Synthesis of an acp 3 U phosphoramidite and incorporation of the hypermodified base into RNA
published pages: 12216-12218, ISSN: 1359-7345, DOI: 10.1039/c9cc06314e
Chemical Communications 55/81 2020-04-04
2019 Sidney Becker, Jonas Feldmann, Stefan Wiedemann, Hidenori Okamura, Christina Schneider, Katharina Iwan, Antony Crisp, Martin Rossa, Tynchtyk Amatov, Thomas Carell
Unified prebiotically plausible synthesis of pyrimidine and purine RNA ribonucleotides
published pages: 76-82, ISSN: 0036-8075, DOI: 10.1126/science.aax2747
Science 366/6461 2020-04-04
2019 Michael Stadlmeier, Leander Simon Runtsch, Filipp Streshnev, Martin Wühr, Thomas Carell
A Click‐Chemistry‐Based Enrichable Crosslinker for Structural and Protein Interaction Analysis by Mass Spectrometry
published pages: 103-107, ISSN: 1439-4227, DOI: 10.1002/cbic.201900611
ChemBioChem 21/1-2 2020-04-04
2019 Clemens Reto Dialer, Samuele Stazzoni, David Jan Drexler, Felix Moritz Müller, Simon Veth, Alexander Pichler, Hidenori Okamura, Gregor Witte, Karl‐Peter Hopfner, Thomas Carell
A Click‐Chemistry Linked 2′3′‐cGAMP Analogue
published pages: 2089-2095, ISSN: 0947-6539, DOI: 10.1002/chem.201805409
Chemistry – A European Journal 25/8 2020-04-04
2020 Milda Nainyte, Thomas Carell
Synthesis and Incorporation of k 2 U into RNA
published pages: , ISSN: 0018-019X, DOI: 10.1002/hlca.202000016
Helvetica Chimica Acta 103/3 2020-04-04
2019 Wilhelm Greulich, Mirko Wagner, Moritz M. Gaidt, Che Stafford, Yiming Cheng, Andreas Linder, Thomas Carell, Veit Hornung
TLR8 Is a Sensor of RNase T2 Degradation Products
published pages: 1264-1275.e13, ISSN: 0092-8674, DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2019.11.001
Cell 179/6 2020-04-04
2019 Hidenori Okamura, Antony Crisp, Sarah Hübner, Sidney Becker, Petra Rovó, Thomas Carell
Proto‐Urea‐RNA (Wöhler RNA) Containing Unusually Stable Urea Nucleosides
published pages: 18691-18696, ISSN: 1433-7851, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201911746
Angewandte Chemie International Edition 58/51 2020-04-04
2020 Nada Raddaoui, Stefano Groce, Florian Geiger, Alexander Borodavka, Leonhard Möckl, Samuele Stazzoni, Bastien Viverge, Christoph Bräuchle, Thomas Frischmuth, Hanna Engelke, Thomas Carell
Super-sensitive multi-fluorophore RNA-FISH for early virus detection and flow-FISH using click chemistry
published pages: , ISSN: 1439-4227, DOI: 10.1002/cbic.202000081
ChemBioChem 18.03.2020 2020-04-04
2018 Timm T. Ensfelder, Matthias Q. Kurz, Katharina Iwan, Simon Geiger, Sarah Matheisl, Markus Müller, Roland Beckmann, Thomas Carell
ALKBH5-induced demethylation of mono- and dimethylated adenosine
published pages: 8591-8593, ISSN: 1359-7345, DOI: 10.1039/c8cc03980a
Chemical Communications 54/62 2020-04-04
2020 Peter Thumbs, Timm T. Ensfelder, Markus Hillmeier, Mirko Wagner, Matthias Heiss, Constanze Scheel, Alexander Schön, Markus Müller, Stylianos Michalakis, Stefanie Kellner, Thomas Carell
Synthesis of galactosyl‐queuosine and distribution of hypermodified Q‐nucleosides in mouse tissues
published pages: , ISSN: 1433-7851, DOI: 10.1002/anie.202002295
Angewandte Chemie International Edition 11.03.2020 2020-04-04
2020 Alexander Schön, Ewelina Kaminska, Florian Schelter, Eveliina Ponkkonen, Eva Korytiaková, Sarah Schiffers, Thomas Carell
Analysis of an Active Deformylation Mechanism of 5‐Formyl‐deoxycytidine (fdC) in Stem Cells
published pages: 5591-5594, ISSN: 1433-7851, DOI: 10.1002/anie.202000414
Angewandte Chemie International Edition 59/14 2020-04-04
2019 Thomas M. Wildenhof, Sarah Schiffers, Franziska R. Traube, Peter Mayer, Thomas Carell
Influencing Epigenetic Information with a Hydrolytically Stable Carbocyclic 5‐Aza‐2′‐deoxycytidine
published pages: 12984-12987, ISSN: 1433-7851, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201904794
Angewandte Chemie International Edition 58/37 2020-04-04
2018 Christina Schneider, Sidney Becker, Hidenori Okamura, Antony Crisp, Tynchtyk Amatov, Michael Stadlmeier, Thomas Carell
Noncanonical RNA Nucleosides as Molecular Fossils of an Early Earth-Generation by Prebiotic Methylations and Carbamoylations
published pages: 5943-5946, ISSN: 1433-7851, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201801919
Angewandte Chemie International Edition 57/20 2019-06-11
2018 Sidney Becker, Christina Schneider, Antony Crisp, Thomas Carell
Non-canonical nucleosides and chemistry of the emergence of life
published pages: , ISSN: 2041-1723, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-07222-w
Nature Communications 9/1 2019-06-11
2018 Katharina Iwan, René Rahimoff, Angie Kirchner, Fabio Spada, Arne S Schröder, Olesea Kosmatchev, Shqiponja Ferizaj, Jessica Steinbacher, Edris Parsa, Markus Müller, Thomas Carell
5-Formylcytosine to cytosine conversion by C–C bond cleavage in vivo
published pages: 72-78, ISSN: 1552-4450, DOI: 10.1038/nchembio.2531
Nature Chemical Biology 14/1 2019-06-11
2018 Sidney Becker, Christina Schneider, Hidenori Okamura, Antony Crisp, Tynchtyk Amatov, Milan Dejmek, Thomas Carell
Wet-dry cycles enable the parallel origin of canonical and non-canonical nucleosides by continuous synthesis
published pages: , ISSN: 2041-1723, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-02639-1
Nature Communications 9/1 2019-06-11
2019 Hidenori Okamura, Sidney Becker, Niklas Tiede, Stefan Wiedemann, Jonas Feldmann, Thomas Carell
A one-pot, water compatible synthesis of pyrimidine nucleobases under plausible prebiotic conditions
published pages: 1939-1942, ISSN: 1359-7345, DOI: 10.1039/c8cc09435g
Chemical Communications 55/13 2019-05-15

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