The ability to sequence entire genomes and transcriptomes in ever shorter timeframes has far outpaced our understanding of how gene expression is controlled. Even though we have a firm knowledge of the general principles of gene expression, we are still far from a holistic and comprehensive understanding of the underlying regulation. It is one of the major challenges in modern biology to gain detailed understanding of the regulatory principles and networks that control gene expression.

In recent years, facilitated by new technology and the development of novel methods, evidence accumulated for a surprising discrepancy between the cellular transcriptome and the proteome in eukaryotic cells. Several large-scale datasets show only limited overlap between cellular mRNA abundance/diversity and the corresponding proteome. This appears to be based on differences in both protein synthesis- and decay-rates, with protein abundance being mostly controlled at the level of translation. These findings have fueled the hypothesis that translational regulation might play a role far more important than initially anticipated, fine tuning the levels of a many cellular proteins. However, our understanding of the basic principles and underlying mechanisms of regulation is still rather limited and we are just beginning to see the complexity of eukaryotic translation.

In the lab we are combining global, systems-biology approaches with reductionist, mechanistic experimentation to gain a deeper understanding of translational control.

Information about the individual projects can be found here:



Financial Support

We are extremely grateful for the generous support that we receive from a number of funding agencies! Without this support we would not be able to pursue our work and to experimentally address intriguing biological questions.

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Science is a community effort! We are very happy about our collaborations with the following labs (alphabetical order):

Ana Eulalio, Institut for Molecular Infection Biology (IMIB), Universität Würzburg, Germany

Benedikt Beckmann, Integrative Research Institute (IRI) for the Life Sciences, Humboldt Universität, Berlin, Germany

Björn Tews, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany

Fatima Gebauer, Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) , Barcelona, Spain

Grischa Tödt, Structural and Computational Biology, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Heidelberg, Germany

Janosch Hennig, Structural and COmputational Biology Unit, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Heidelberg, Germany

Klaus Förstemann, Gene Center of the University of Munich (LMU), Germany

Matthias Hentze, Director`s Research Unit, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Heidelberg, Germany

Robert Ahrends, Leibniz-Institute for Analytical Sciences (ISAS), Dortmund, Germany

Sebastian Glatt, Max Planck Research Group at the Malopolska Centre of Biotechnology/Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland




Selected Publications

Moschall R, Gaik M, Medenbach J.: Promiscuity in post-transcriptional control of gene expression: Drosophila Sex-lethal and its regulatory partnerships. FEBS Lett. 2017 doi: 10.1002/1873-3468.12652.

Schneider, T., Hung, L-S., Schreiner, S., Starke, S., Eckhof, H., Rossbach, O., Reich, S., Medenbach, J., and Bindereif, A.: CircRNA-protein complexes: IMP3 protein component defined subfamily of circRNPs. Scientific Reports, 2016, 6(31313).

Beckmann, BM., Castello, A., and Medenbach, J.: The expanding universe of ribonucleoproteins: of novel RNA-binding proteins and unconventional interactions. Pflugers Arch., 2016,468(6):1029-40.

Medenbach, J., Seiler, M., and Hentze, MW.: Translational control via protein-regulated upstream open reading frames. Cell, 2011, 145(6):902-13.
– Featured in: Yao P. and Fox PL: Sex lethal and upstream ORFs: a bait-and-trap system for ribosomes. Genome Biology, 2011, 12:121.
– Featured in Faculty of 1000

Rösel, TD.1, Hung, LH.1, Medenbach, J.1, Donde, K., Starke, S., Benes, V., Rätsch, G., and Bindereif, A.: RNA-Seq analysis in mutant zebrafish reveals role of U1c protein in alternative splicing regulation. EMBO Journal, 2011, 30(10):1965-76. (1 these authors contributed equally)

Pérard, J., Rasia, R., Medenbach, J., Ayala, I., Boisbouvier, J., Drouet, E., and Baudin, F.: Human initiation factor eIF3 subunit binteracts with HCV IRES RNA through its N-terminal RNA recognition motif. FEBS Lett., 2009, 583(1): 70-4.

Medenbach, J.1, Licht, K.1, Lührmann, R., Kambach, C., and Bindereif, A.: 3‘-cyclic phosphorylation of U6 snRNA leads to recruitment of recycling factor p110 through LSm proteins. RNA, 2008, 4(8): 1532-8. (1 these authors contributed equally)

Medenbach, J.1,Trede1, N.S., Damianov1, A., Hung, L.-H., Weber, G.J., Paw, B.H., Zhou, Y., Hersey, C., Zapata, A., Keefe, M., Barut, B.A., Stuart, A.B., Katz, T., Amemiya, C.T., Zon, L.I., and Bindereif, A.: Network of coregulated spliceosome components revealed by zebrafish mutant in recycling factor p110. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2007, 104(16): 6608-13. (1 these authors contributed equally)

Medenbach, J., Schreiner, S., Liu, S., Lührmann, R., and Bindereif, A.: Human U4/U6 snRNP Recycling Factor p110: Mutational Analysis Reveals the Function of the Tetratricopeptide Repeat Domain in Recycling”, Molecular and Cellular Biology, 2005, 24(17): 7392-7401.

Medenbach, J., Damianov, A., Schreiner, S., and Bindereif, A.: Sedimentation Analysis of Ribonucleoprotein Complexes. Handbook of RNA Biochemistry, 2005, R. K. Hartmann, A. Bindereif, A. Schön and E. Westhof. Weinheim, Wiley-VCH. 1: 428-437.

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