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Sebastien Fereira-Cerca

Institute of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology
Biochemistry III - House of the Ribosome
Dr. Sébastien Ferreira-Cerca
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Evolutionary Aspects of Ribosome Biogenesis

Ribosomes are universally conserved large ribonucleoprotein particles ensuring protein synthesis in every cell. Surprisingly, whereas key aspects of the translation machinery and its mechanisms are relatively well conserved, the lack of clear conservation between key ribosome biogenesis factors between Eubacteria and Eukarya suggest that most of the ribosome biogenesis process has been almost reengineered in the course of the evolution. Interestingly, genomic and few in vitro analysis suggest the presence of few known eubacterial and eukaryotic ribosomes biogenesis factors in archaeal genomes. Thus, suggesting that the archaeal ribosome biogenesis pathway might proceed via a mixture of eubacterial and eukaryotic features to which archaeal specific features have been eventually implemented. Moreover, this also suggests that eukaryotic ribosome biogenesis might have evolved, to some extent, on the basis of a simplified” archaeal ribosome biogenesis pathway. However, to further shed light on the evolution of this pathway, the fundamental molecular biology of this process still needs to be fully defined in any archaeon. 

Therefore, to better characterize the ribosome biosynthesis pathway from an evolutionary perspective and to better understand the conserved molecular principles allowing efficient RNP assembly we are analyzing:

1) Ribosome biogenesis in Archaea

We are currently defining principles of the in vivo archaeal ribosome synthesis pathway with the help of two genetically tractable model archaeon: the halophilic Euryarchaeota Haloferax volcanii and the thermo-acidophile Crenoarchaeota Sulfolobus acidocaldarius.

2) Comparative structural & functional analysis of the evolutionary conserved RIO protein family in RNP biogenesis

The RIO & RIO-like proteins are evolutionary conserved atypical Kinases/ ATPases involved in the biosynthesis of the small ribosomal subunit and some tRNAs. We aim to better characterize the molecular mechanisms of the RIO protein family. To this end, we are performing comparative structural & functional analysis of the RIO protein family using several archaeal and eukaryotic model organisms. 


Sébastien Ferreira-Cerca

curriculum vitae

Current mentees

Knüppel, Robert MSc student
Kuttenberger, Corinna MSc student

Sébastien Ferreira-Cerca - Short CV

since 2013

Academic staff member at the University of Regensburg (Germany), Department of Biochemistry III (Chair: H. Tschochner)
2008 - 2012 Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Heidelberg (Germany), Biochemistry Center (BZH)  (Lab: E. Hurt)
2003 - 2008 Doctoral Thesis (Dr. rer. nat.) at the University of Regensburg (Germany) Department of Biochemistry III (Chair: H. Tschochner)




Iacovella MG, Golfieri C, Massari LF, Busnelli S, Pagliuca C, Dal Maschio M, Infantino V, Visintin V, Mechtler K, Ferreira-Cerca S, and De Wulf P. The Rio1 kinase downregulates RNA polymerase I to promote rDNA stability and segregation. Nature Communications in press.

Ferreira-Cerca S#*, Kiburu, I#, Thomson E, LaRonde N*, Hurt E*. Dominant Rio1 kinase/ATPase catalytic mutant induces trapping of late pre-40S biogenesis factors in 80S-like ribosomes. Nucleic Acids Research. 2014 Jun 19. Pmc

Thomson E#*, Ferreira-Cerca S#*, Hurt E. Eukaryotic ribosome biogenesis at a glance. J. Cell Sci. 2013 Nov 1;126(Pt 21):4815-21. Jbc Free

Ferreira-Cerca S#, Sagar V#, Schäfer T, Diop M, Wesseling AM, Lu H, Chai E, Hurt E, Laronde-Leblanc N. ATPase-dependent role of the atypical kinase Rio2 on the evolving pre-40S ribosomal subunit. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 2012 Dec;19(12):1316-23. Pmc

Ferreira-Cerca S, Pöll G, Kühn H, Neueder A, Jacob S, Tschochner H, Milkereit P. Analysis of the in vivo assembly pathway of eukaryotic 40S ribosomal proteins. Mol. Cell. 2007 Nov 9;28 (3):446-457. Cell Open Access

Ferreira-Cerca S, Pöll G, Gleizes PE, Tschochner H, Milkereit P. Roles of eukaryotic ribosomal proteins in maturation and transport of pre-18S rRNA and ribosome function. Mol. Cell. 2005 Oct 28;20 (2):263-75. Cell Open Access

Leger-Silvestre I, Milkereit P, Ferreira-Cerca S, Saveanu C, Rousselle JC, Choesmel V, Guinefoleau C, Gas N, Gleizes PE. The ribosomal protein Rps15p is required for nuclear exit of the 40S subunit precursors in yeast. EMBO J. 2004 Jun 16;23 (12):2336-47. Pmc

# joint first authors. * joint corresponding authors



Dr. Sébastien Ferreira-Cerca

Department of Biochemistry III
Biochemistry Center Regensburg
University of Regensburg
Universitaetsstr. 31
Room VKL 5.0.18
D-93053 Regensburg

T: +49-941-943-2539
F: +49-941-943-2474
E: sebastien.ferreira-cerca@ur.de



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Sébastien Ferreira-Cerca



Phone: +49 (941) 9432539
Room: VKL 5.0.18