Molecule of the Month
March 2021
Don't Stress over a Cut!

All living organisms face stress and have to adjust in order to survive. Trypanosomes, parasites that cause devastating diseases in cattle and humans in Africa, are not an exemption.
Our studies show that trypanosomes exposed to a shortage of nutrients reduce protein biosynthesis by cutting the CCA-tail present on all tRNAs by the newly discovered nuclease LCCR4. Once favourable conditions are restored these crippled tRNAs are rapidly repaired and recycled for protein synthesis.

This work was carried out by Marina Cristodero & colleagues in the group of Prof. Norbert Polacek and is the result of an NCCR "RNA & Disease" collaboration between the Schneider & Polacek groups.


  • M. Cristodero, R. Brogli, O. Joss, B. Schimanski, A. Schneider, N. Polacek;
    "tRNA 3' shortening by LCCR4 as a response to stress in Trypanosoma brucei"
    Nucleic Acids Research, 2021, 49(3), 1647-1661; doi:10.1093/nar/gkaa1261.