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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.

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

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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