Dr. Ricarda Richter-Dennerlein

University Medical Center Goettingen
Department of Cellular Biochemistry
Humboldtallee 23
37073 Göttingen

Contact info

Phone: +49 (0)551 395913
Fax: +49 (0)551 395979
E-mail: ricarda.richter@med.uni-goettingen.de


Curriculum vitae

  • Since 10/2016 Emmy-Noether research group leader at the Department of Cellular Biochemistry, University Medical Center Göttingen

  • 04/2014 – 09/2016 Postdoctoral position at the Department of Cellular Biochemistry, University Medical Center Göttingen, Research group of Prof. Dr. Peter Rehling
  • 01/2011 – 03/2014 Postdoctoral position (EMBO Long Term Fellowship) at the Institute for Genetics, University of Cologne, Research group of Prof. Dr. Thomas Langer
  • 10/2007 – 11/2010 PhD study at the Newcastle University, Institute for Ageing and Health, Mitochondrial Research Group, Newcastle upon Tyne (UK), Research group of Prof. Dr. Robert N. Lightowlers and Prof. Dr. Zofia M. A. Chrzanowska-Lightowlers

Awards and Honors

  • 2017  GZMB award for outstanding research, Göttingen Center for Molecular Biosciences
  • 2016  Admission to the Emmy Noether program by the DFG
  • 2011  Medical Sciences Doctoral Thesis Prize, Newcastle University, UK
  • 2011-2013  EMBO Long Term Fellowship
  • 2009  Young Travel Fund (YTF) by FEBS
  • 2007  Leonardo da Vinci II – Student mobility project

Research focus

The assembly pathway of the mammalian mitochondrial ribosome

Mitochondria, which fulfill many essential roles within the cell, still contain their own genome (mtDNA). However, the expression of mtDNA-encoded proteins depends on factors encoded by the nuclear genome. Defects in these factors lead to severe mitochondrial diseases in human. This is also true for the mitochondrial ribosomal proteins, which need to be imported into mitochondria, where they assemble with mtDNA-encoded ribosomal RNAs.

We are interested in how the mammalian mitochondrial ribosome assembles from components of dual genetic origin. Although the mitochondrial ribosome derived from a bacterial ancestor, there are substantial differences in structure and composition. Therefore it is reasonable to speculate that the assembly pathways comparing bacterial and mammalian mitochondrial ribosomes vary as well. Our analyses will also help us to understand the diverse clinical presentations of the growing group of patients with mutations in genes encoding for mitochondrial ribosomal proteins.

Publications (since 2003)

Lavdovskaia E., Denks K., Nadler F., Steube E., Linden A., Urlaub H., Rodnina M., Richter-Dennerlein R. (2020) Dual function of GTPBP6 in biogenesis and recycling of human mitochondrial ribosomes. Nucleic Acids Res 48, 12929-12942.

Wang C., Richter-Dennerlein R., Pacheu-Grau D., Liu F., Zhu Y., Dennerlein S., Rehling P. (2020) MITRAC15/COA1 promotes mitochondrial translation in a ND2 ribosome-nascent chain complex. EMBO Rep 21, e48833.

Lavdovskaia E., Kolander E., Steube E., Mai M., Urlaub H., Richter-Dennerlein R. (2018) The human Obg protein GTPBP10 is involved in mitoribosomal biogenesis. Nucleic Acids Res 46, 8471-8482.

Aich A., Wang C., Chowdhury A., Ronsör C., Pacheu-Grau D., Richter-Dennerlein R., Dennerlein S., Rehling P. (2018) COX16 promotes COX2 metallation and assembly during respiratory complex IV biogenesis. Elife 7, .

Rozanska A., Richter-Dennerlein R., Rorbach J., Gao F., Lewis R., Chrzanowska-Lightowlers Z., Lightowlers R. (2017) The human RNA-binding protein RBFA promotes the maturation of the mitochondrial ribosome. Biochem J 474, 2145-2158.

Wai T., Saita S., Nolte H., Müller S., König T., Richter-Dennerlein R., Sprenger H., Madrenas J., Mühlmeister M., Brandt U., Krüger M., Langer T. (2016) The membrane scaffold SLP2 anchors a proteolytic hub in mitochondria containing PARL and the i-AAA protease YME1L. EMBO Rep 17, 1844-1856.

Richter-Dennerlein R., Oeljeklaus S., Lorenzi I., Ronsör C., Bareth B., Schendzielorz A., Wang C., Warscheid B., Rehling P., Dennerlein S. (2016) Mitochondrial Protein Synthesis Adapts to Influx of Nuclear-Encoded Protein. Cell 167, 471-483.e10.

König T., Tröder S., Bakka K., Korwitz A., Richter-Dennerlein R., Lampe P., Patron M., Mühlmeister M., Guerrero-Castillo S., Brandt U., Decker T., Lauria I., Paggio A., Rizzuto R., Rugarli E., De Stefani D., Langer T. (2016) The m-AAA Protease Associated with Neurodegeneration Limits MCU Activity in Mitochondria. Mol Cell 64, 148-162.

Korwitz A., Merkwirth C., Richter-Dennerlein R., Tröder S., Sprenger H., Quirós P., López-Otín C., Rugarli E., Langer T. (2016) Loss of OMA1 delays neurodegeneration by preventing stress-induced OPA1 processing in mitochondria. J Cell Biol 212, 157-66.

Richter-Dennerlein R., Dennerlein S., Rehling P. (2015) Integrating mitochondrial translation into the cellular context. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 16, 586-92.

Wesolowska M., Richter-Dennerlein R., Lightowlers R., Chrzanowska-Lightowlers Z. (2014) Overcoming stalled translation in human mitochondria. Front Microbiol 5, 374.

Richter-Dennerlein R., Korwitz A., Haag M., Tatsuta T., Dargazanli S., Baker M., Decker T., Lamkemeyer T., Rugarli E., Langer T. (2014) DNAJC19, a mitochondrial cochaperone associated with cardiomyopathy, forms a complex with prohibitins to regulate cardiolipin remodeling. Cell Metab 20, 158-71.