Otto Warburg Medal:
Marina V. Rodnina
Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry
Translation is a key step of gene expression that produces proteins according to the mRNA. During canonical translation, the ribosome moves along the mRNA from the start to the stop codon in exact steps of one codon at a time. The collinearity of the mRNA and the protein sequences is essential for the quality of the cellular proteome. Spontaneous errors in decoding or translocation are rare and result in a deficient protein. However, dedicated recoding signals in the mRNA can reprogram the ribosome to read the message in alternative ways. Recent biochemical and structural work suggest the mechanisms of different recoding events, such as ribosome frameshifting, translational bypassing, or stop-codon read-through. Recoding events demonstrate alternative modes of ribosome dynamics and provide interesting target for developing antiviral therapies.