Munich Multiscale Biofabrication Network

Figure 1: Nsp1 virulence factor of SARS-CoV-2 hijacking the human 40S small ribosomal subunit (Thoms et al., 2020)


Roland Beckmann’s labwith the decoding of the molecular mechanisms underlying protein biosynthesis and ribosome biogenesis. The central technology used here is cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to determine the structure of functionally defined complexes involved in these processes. In addition, complementary molecular biological and biochemical methods are used, in particular so-called cell-free systems, to further characterize the functioning of these complexes. A long-term goal is to use these findings as a basis to intervene in both protein production and ribosome biogenesis in order to develop novel macromolecules and nanomachines.

Figure 2: Structures of late human pre-40S ribosomal assembly intermediates (Ameismeier et al., 2020)











  1. M. Ameismeier, I. Zemp, J. van den Heuvel, M. Thoms, O. Berninghausen, U. Kutay, R. Beckmann, Structural basis for the final steps of human 40S ribosome maturation. Nature 2020 , doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2929-x
  2. J. Cheng, B. Lau, G. La Venuta, M. Ameismeier, O. Berninghausen, E. Hurt, R. Beckmann, 90S pre-ribosome transformation into the primordial 40S subunit. Science 2020 , 369(6510):1470-1476, doi: 10.1126/science.abb4119
  3. M. Thoms, R. Buschauer, M. Ameismeier, L. Koepke, T. Denk, M. Hirschenberger, H. Kratzat, M. Hayn, T. Mackens-Kiani, J. Cheng, J. H. Straub, C. M. Stürzel, T. Fröhlich, O. Berninghausen, T. Becker, F. Kirchhoff, K. Sparrer, R. Beckmann, Structural basis for translational shutdown and immune evasion by the Nsp1 protein of SARS-CoV-2. Science 2020, doi: 10.1126/science.abc8665
  4. R. Buschauer, Y. Matsuo, T. Sugiyama, Y. H. Chen, N. Alhusaini, T. Sweet, K. Ikeuchi, J. Cheng, Y. Matsuki, R. Nobuta, A. Gilmozzi, O. Berninghausen, P. Tesina, T. Becker, J. Coller, T. Inada, R. Beckmann, The Ccr4-Not complex monitors the translating ribosome for codon optimality. Science 2020 , 368(6488) pii: eaay6912, doi: 10.1126/science.aay6912
  5. T. Su, T. Izawa, M. Thoms, Y. Yamashita, J. Cheng, O. Berninghausen, F. U. Hartl, T. Inada, W. Neupert, R. Beckmann, Structure and function of Vms1 and Arb1 in RQC and mitochondrial proteome homeostasis. Nature 2019 , doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1307-z