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Evolution of eukaryotic translation initiation systems - G. Eriani

Our main projects are focused on translation initiation in eukaryotes. We have a special interest for unconventional translation initiation mechanisms that are using structural elements or the mRNA to recruit initiation factors and/or ribosomes. One of our model is H4 mRNA for which we have characterized a new translation mechanism involving tethering of ribosomes to initiation factors bound to internal structural elements of the mRNA. Research is also focused on the two IRES elements (Internal Ribosomal Entry Site) of the Cricket Paralysis Virus (CrPV). We are also studying the translation initiation mechanism and translation recoding of mRNA coding for selenoproteins.

For many years the lab has worked on tRNA and aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (ARS). The classification of ARS into two classes originates from early studies done of the lab. We also deciphered the catalytic mechanisms of the class II aspartyl-tRNA synthetase and class I arginyl-tRNA synthetase and contributed to 3D structure determination. More recently, we have explored the editing mechanisms that proofread the aminoacylation products and ensure translation fidelity.

Our approaches are using techniques of molecular biology, bichemistry, cell biology, enzymology, SHAPE, genetics, cryoEM and X-ray crystallography.

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