Gaining insight into pre-mRNA splicing by the spliceosome

by Reinhard Lührmann

(Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences, Germany)

 3 April 2025 17:00

 Mendel Lectures take place in Mendel´s refectory in the Mendel Museum Brno

Reinhard Lührmann has led pioneering studies to determine the composition, function and architecture of the spliceosome, the mega-Dalton RNP machine that catalyses pre-mRNA splicing. His work has, over several decades, revealed how the main building blocks of the spliceosome, the snRNPs, together with numerous auxiliary factors, assemble dynamically onto a nascent pre-mRNA molecule to generate a catalytically active machine. A major concept that emerged from this work is that the spliceosome's RNP structure undergoes continual remodelling during the splicing cycle, with dramatic exchanges of proteins occurring at multiple intermediate assembly stages of the splicing process. Lührmann’s discoveries in the field of pre‐mRNA splicing have provided foundational knowledge for understanding both splicing regulation, a process that is essential for human cellular function, and the mis-regulation of splicing, which contributes to numerous human diseases.

Dr. Lührmann received his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Münster. He then undertook postdoctoral work at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin-Dahlem, before starting his own group at the Otto Warburg Laboratory of the same institute in 1981. In 1988, he became Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Institute for Molecular and Tumor Biology of the Philipps University of Marburg. Since 1999, he has been a Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society and held a position as Director of the Department for Cellular Biochemistry at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen. Since 2019, he has been heading an Emeritus Group at the same Institute (now the Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences). Dr. Lührmann's work has been recognized by numerous awards including the Max Planck Research Prize, the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, the Feldberg Prize, the Ernst Jung Prize and the “Lifetime Achievement in Science” award of the International RNA Society. He has received honorary doctorates from the Freie Universität Berlin and the Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznan. Dr. Lührmann is an elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organization, the Leopoldina and the Academia Europeae.

Lecturer photo

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