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Optochemical control of cell fate by activation of mRNA translation

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 RNActivate project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the RNActivate project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "RNActivate" about.

regulation    overcome    regulatory    interfering    exogenous    switch    antisense    excellent    block    biology    exploits    analogs    temporal    removal    vivo    embryos    manipulate    methyltransferase    cage    gene    adenosylmethionine    eukaryotic    locally    single    lack    trigger    organisms    turn    transient    capped    resolution    efficient    promiscuous    canonical    agents    easily    fate    molecular    translation    death    organism    rna    mrna    cap    function    responsible    ectopic    transferring    respective    triggered    subpopulations    light    enabled    modification    functions    cell    remethylated    photo    cultured    external    efficiency    moieties    form    inducible    uncompromised    messenger    explore    release    conditional    adomet    synthetic    spatio    vital    limitations    restore    groups    activate    proteins    caged    producing    expression    genome    wavelength    engineering    abrogate    translational    small    migration    ing    optochemical    tracking    cells    zebrafish    cosubstrate    labeling    cellular    prime    precision    unmodified    injected    biomolecular    responsive    bulky    stage       chemical   

Project "RNActivate" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: Munster
postcode: 48149

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 1˙990˙225 €
 EC max contribution 1˙990˙225 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2017-COG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-06-01   to  2023-05-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Light is an excellent external regulatory element that can be applied to cells and organisms with high spatio-temporal precision and without interfering with cellular processes. Optochemical biology exploits small photo-responsive chemical groups to cage and activate or to switch biomolecular functions in response to light of a defined wavelength. Caged antisense agents have enabled down-regulation of gene expression with spatio-temporal control at the messenger-RNA (mRNA) level in vivo, however approaches for triggering translation of exogenous mRNA lack efficient turn-on effects. To explore the effects of conditional and transient ectopic gene expression in a developing organism it is vital to fully abrogate and restore translational efficiency.

The goal of this project is to bring eukaryotic mRNA under the control of light to trigger efficient ectopic translation with spatio-temporal resolution in cells and in vivo. To achieve this, eukaryotic mRNA will be photo-caged at its 5′ cap using a highly promiscuous methyltransferase capable of transferring very bulky moieties from synthetic analogs of the cosubstrate S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet). A single 5′ cap modification will block translation of the respective mRNA. Its light-triggered removal will release unmodified capped RNA, which in cells will be efficiently remethylated to form the canonical 5′ cap resulting in uncompromised translation.

In addition to labeling and tracking subpopulations of cells, we will use our technology to control and to manipulate cell fate by locally producing proteins responsible for cell death, genome engineering, and cell migration. We will use cultured cells and one-cell stage zebrafish embryos that can be easily injected with mRNA to study the function of ectopic gene expression in early development. Our approach will overcome current limitations of photo-inducible mRNA translation and enable us to manipulate a developing organism at the molecular level.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Lea Anhäuser, Nils Klöcker, Fabian Muttach, Florian Mäsing, Petr Špaček, Armido Studer, Andrea Rentmeister
A Benzophenone-Based Photocaging Strategy for the N7 Position of Guanosine
published pages: , ISSN: 1433-7851, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201914573
Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2020-02-04
2020 Nicolas V. Cornelissen, Freideriki Michailidou, Fabian Muttach, Kristina Rau, Andrea Rentmeister
Nucleoside-modified AdoMet analogues for differential methyltransferase targeting
published pages: , ISSN: 1359-7345, DOI: 10.1039/c9cc07807j
Chemical Communications 2020-01-29

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The information about "RNACTIVATE" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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