Professor Reinhard Lührmann

Research Focus

Molecular machines in RNA processing, biochemistry and structural dynamics of spliceosomes, functional proteomics, mass spectrometry, regulation of mRNA splicing; structure, biogenesis and function of spliceosomal snRNPs; principles of RNA-protein recognition; X-ray structural analysis and kryo-electronmicroscopy of snRNPs and spliceosomal complexes; assembly and dynamics of structures involved in cytoplasmic mRNA degradation; structure and assembly of nucleolar RNPs (snoRNPs); nuclear transport.


  1. Dhir, A., Buratti, E., van Santen, M.A., Lührmann, R., Baralle, F.E. (2009). The intronic splicing code: multiple factors involved in ATM pseudoexon definition. EMBO Journal 29, 749-760. (doi:10.1038/emboj.2009.397)
  2. Wahl, M.C., Will, C.L., Lührmann, R. (2009). The spliceosome: design principles of a dynamic RNP machine. Cell 136(4), 701-18. Review.
  3. Lührmann R, Stark H. (2009). Structural mapping of spliceosomes by electron microscopy. Current Opinion in Structural Biology 19(1), 96-102. [Epub 2009 Feb 9]. Review.
  4. Yu, Y., Maroney, P.A., Denker, J.A., Zhang, X.H., Dybkov, O., Lührmann, R., Jankowsky, E., Chasin, L.A., Nilsen, T.W. (2008). Dynamic regulation of alternative splicing by silencers that modulate 5' splice site competition. Cell 135(7), 1224-36.
  5. Häcker, I., Sander, B., Golas, M.M., Wolf, E., Karagöz, E., Kastner, B., Stark, H., Fabrizio, P., Lührmann, R. (2008). Localization of Prp8, Brr2, Snu114 and U4/U6 proteins in the yeast tri-snRNP by electron microscopy. Natural Structural and Molecular Biology 15(11), 1206-12. [Epub 2008 Oct 26]
  6. Mathew, R., Hartmuth, K., Möhlmann, S., Urlaub, H., Ficner, R., Lührmann, R. (2008). Phosphorylation of human PRP28 by SRPK2 is required for integration of the U4/U6-U5 tri-snRNP into the spliceosome. Natural Structural and Molecular Biology 15(5), 435-43. [Epub 2008 Apr 20]
  7. Bessonov, S., Anokhina, M., Will, C.L., Urlaub, H., Lührmann, R. (2008). Isolation of an active step I spliceosome and composition of its RNP core. Nature 452(7189), 846-50. [Epub 2008 Mar 5]
  8. Dönmez G, Hartmuth K, Kastner B, Will CL, Lührmann R. (2007). The 5' end of U2 snRNA is in close proximity to U1 and functional sites of the pre-mRNA in early spliceosomal complexes. Molecular Cell 25(3), 399-411.

Key lab techniques: Purification and functional characterisation of spliceosomal complexes, structural and functional analysis of RNA, yeast genetics, electron cryomicroscopy, protein crystallisation, functional proteomics (mass spectrometry), Bio-reactors for continuous cell culture, RNAi.

Key lab reagents: Spliceosomal complexes, spliceosomal proteins, snRNPs, snRNAs, antibodies, HeLa cells, yeast, expressed proteins.

Interest in alternative splicing: Determine the composition of enhanceosomes assembled on different pre-mRNA substrates containing defined cis-acting regulatory elements. Elucidate qualitative and quantitative changes in the composition of spliceosomes formed under different physiological conditions, in different cell types and at different stages of the cell cycle.

Lab contact: Dr Berthold Kastner Phone: (+49 551) 201-1313.

Lab website: