Institute of Genomics and RNomics


Alexander Hüttenhofer


Melanie Spörr

Tel.: +43 512 9003 70202
Fax: +43 512 9003 73100

About the institute

Cells from all organisms contain two different types of RNA molecules: messenger RNAs and so-called “non-protein-coding RNAs” (ncRNAs). NcRNAs are involved in numerous biological processes mainly affecting the regulation of gene expression on the level of transcription or translation respectively. The Institute for Genomics & RNomics aims to understand the function and roles of different types of ncRNAs in health and disease. The research interests include the identification of regulatory ncRNAs involved in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or neurodevelopmental diseases such as Prader-Willi syndrome. More recent projects also include the study of mitochondrial derived tRNA genes found in introns of pre-mRNAs in the nuclear genome and their impact on splicing. Importantly, various aspects of protein synthesis and its regulation by RNA modifications are studied at the Institute of Genomics & RNomics leading to a deeper understanding of genome evolution and opening novel  pathways for gene therapy .

Selected Publications

  • Hoser S, Hoffmann A, Meindl A, Gamper M, Fallmann J, Mueller S, Ploner M, Misslinger M, Kremser L, Geley S, Schaal H, Stadler P, Hüttenhofer A. Intronic tRNAs of mitochondrial origin regulate constitutive and alternative splicing. Genome Biology. 2020. 21(1): 299
  • Grimm C, Hillen H, Bedenk K, Bartuli J, Neyer S, Zhang Q, Hüttenhofer A, Erlacher M, Dienemann C, Schlosser A, Urlaub H, Böttcher B, Szalay A, Cramer P, and Fischer U. Structural Basis of Poxvirus Transcription: Vaccinia RNA Polymerase Complexes. 2019. Cell 179(7):1537-1550.
  • Hoernes T, Heimdörfer D, Köstner D, Faserl K, Nußbaumer F, Plangger R, Kreutz C, Lindner H, and Erlacher M. Eukaryotic translation elongation is modulated by single natural nucleotide derivatives in the coding sequences of mRNAs. Genes. 2019. 10, 84
  • Hoernes T, Faserl K, Juen M, Kremser J, Gasser C, Fuchs E, Shi X, Siewert A, Lindner H, Kreutz C, Micura R, Joseph S, Höbartner C, Westhof E, Hüttenhofer A, Erlacher M. (2018). Translation of non-standard codon nucleotides reveals minimal requirements for codon-anticodon interactions. Nat Commun. 201, 9(1):4865.

Current Funding

  • FWF: Mitochondrial-like tRNAs in introns of nuclear genes: novel splicing regulators? (PI: A. Hüttenhofer)
  • FWF: DNA as template for ribosomal translation? (PI. M. Erlacher)
  • FWF/SFB: RNA-DECO: Regulation of translation by RNA modifications (project partner: M. Erlacher)
  • FWF: Is there a code behind the code? (PI M. Erlacher)