Jun. Prof. Dr. Neva Caliskan
The production of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP) is a hallmark during the replication cycle of any RNA virus. In the case of SCV-2, this step is mediated by frameshifting, whereby the ribosomes are directed into an alternative reading frame by well-characterized cis-regulatory elements. Can targeting translational frameshifting be an option to combat SCV-2? Can we specifically interfere with frameshifting mRNA structures using host factors as an anti-infective strategy? We seek answers to these questions by using a cutting-edge RNA analysis toolset including RAP-MS, microscale thermophoresis to study interactions and single-molecule optical tweezers to monitor RNA dynamics.