Prof. Dr. Utz Fischer

Prof. Dr. Utz Fischer

     +49 931 - 31 84029






Curriculum vitae



Prof. Dr. Utz Fischer



Professor and Chairman



Chair of Biochemistry, Theodor-Boveri-Institute at the Biocentre
University of Würzburg
Am Hubland
97074 Würzburg
Phone +49 931 - 31 84029











Studies in Biochemistry at the Free University of Berlin, Germany, Diploma degree



Dissertation at the Philipps-University Marburg in the group of Prof. R. Lührmann



Post-Doc, Institute of Molecular Biology and Tumor Research, University of Marburg, Germany



AIDS Scholar at the HHMI, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (PA, USA)



Group leader at the MPI of Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany


since 2003

Professor and Chair of Biochemistry, University of Würzburg, Germany



Speaker of the Biocentre/Theodor-Boveri-Institute, University of Würzburg, Germany







Research Fields


Structure and Function of macromolecular machines

RNA-metabolism and neuronal diseases





Professional Activities

Since 2007: Speaker of the DFG-Forschergruppe FOR855 “Cytoplasmic regulation of gene expression”








1989: Dissertation award of Hoechst Industries
1993: AIDS Scholar of the DKFZ (Heidelberg)
1993: Falcon Research Award of the German Society of Cell Biology
1998: Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Research Award
1999: Gerhard Hess Award of the DFG









Original Manuscripts


Linder B, Dill H, Hirmer A, Brocher J, Lee GP, Mathavan S, Bolz HJ, Winkler C, Laggerbauer B and Fischer U (2011): Systemic splicing factor deficiency causes tissue-specific defects: a zebrafish model for retinitis pigmentosa. Hum Mol Genet 20(2): 368-77.


Guderian G, Peter C, Wiesner J, Sickmann A, Schulze-Osthoff K, Fischer U and Grimmler M (2010): RioK1, a new interactor of protein arginine methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5), competes with pICln or binding and modulates PRMT5 complex composition and substrate specificity. J Biol Chem 286(3): 1976-86.


Grimm C, Chari A, Reuter K and Fischer U (2010): A crystallization screen based on alternative polymeric precipitants. Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 66: 685-697.


Schäffler K, Schulz K, Hirmer A, Wiesner J, Grimm M, Sickmann A and Fischer U (2010): A stimulatory role for the La-related protein 4B in translation. RNA 16: 1488-99.


Martin G, Ostareck-Lederer A, Chari A, Neuenkirchen N, Dettwiler S, Blank D, Rüegsegger U, Fischer U and Keller W (2010): Arginine methylation in subunits of mammalian pre-mRNA cleavage factor I. RNA 16: 1646-59.


Galao RP*, Chari A*, Alves-Rodriguez I, Lobao D, Mas A, Kambach C, Fischer U and Diez J (2010): LSm1-7 complexes bind to specific sites in viral RNA genomes and regulate their translation and replication. RNA 16: 817-827.
*these authors contributed equally to this work


Kroiss M, Brünger KM, Wiesner J, Grimmler M, Sickmann A and Fischer U (2009): Native purification of protein and RNA-protein complexes using a novel affinity procedure. Fly 3(3): 221-8.


Scheller N, Mina LB, Galão RP, Chari A, Giménez-Barcons M, Noueiry A, Fischer U, Meyerhans A and Diez J (2009): Translation and replication of hepatitis C virus genomic RNA depends on ancient cellular proteins that control mRNA fates. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106(32): 13517-22.


Guenther UP, Handoko L, Laggerbauer B, Jablonka S, Chari A, Alzheimer M, Ohmer J, Plöttner O, Gehring N, Sickmann A, von Au K, Schuelke M and Fischer U (2009): IGHMBP2 is a ribosome-associated helicase inactive in the neuromuscular disorder distal SMA type 1 (DSMA1). Hum Mol Genet 18(7): 1288-300.


Chari A, Golas M, Neuenkirchen N, Klingenhäger M, Sander B, Englbrecht C, Sickmann A, Stark H and Fischer U (2008): An assembly chaperone collaborates with the SMN complex to generate spliceosomal SnRNPs. Cell 135: 497-509.


Linder B, Plöttner O, Kroiss M, Hartmann E, Laggerbauer B, Meister G and Fischer U (2008): TDRD3 is a novel stress granule-associated protein ineracting with the Fragile-X syndrome protein FMRP. Hum Mol Genet 17: 3236-46.


Kroiss M, Schultz J, Wiesner J, Chari A, Sickmann A and Fischer U (2008): Evolution of an RNP assembly system: a minimal SMN-complex facilitates formation of U snRNPs in Drosophila melanogaster. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 105: 10045-10050.


Markert A, Grimm M, Martinez, J, Wiesner J, Meyerhans A, Meyuhas O, Sickmann A and Fischer U (2008): The La-related protein, Larp7, is a component of the 7SK snRNP and affects Tat-dependent transcription of HIV-1. EMBOrep 9: 569-575.


Petri S, Grimmler M, Over S, Fischer U and Gruss O (2007): Dephosphorylation of survival motor neurons (SMN) by PPM1G/PP2Cgamma governs Cajal body localization and stability of the SMN-complex. J Cell Biol 179: 451-465.


Menzel N, Chari A, Fischer U, Linder M and Raabe T (2007): A 5’-fluorosulfonylbenzoyladenosine-based method to identify physiological substrates of a Drosophila p21-activated kinase.  Anal Biochem 368: 178-184.


Otter S, Grimmler M, Neuenkirchen N, Chari A, Sickmann A and Fischer U (2007): A comprehensive interaction map of the human survival of motor neuron (SMN) complex. J Biol Chem 282: 5825-5833.


Grimmler M, Otter S, Peter C, Müller F, Chari A and Fischer U (2005): Unrip, a factor implicated in cap-independent translation, associates with the cytosolic SMN complex and influences its intracellular localization. Hum Mol Genet 14: 3099-3111.


Azzouz TN, Pillai RS, Dapp C, Chari A, Meister G, Kambach C, Fischer U and Schumperli D (2005): Towards an assembly line for U7 snRNPs: interactions of U7-specific Lsm proteins with PRMT5 and SMN complexes. J Biol Chem 280: 34435-34440.


Winkler C, Eggert C, Gradl D, Meister G, Giegerich M, Wedlich D and Fischer U (2005): Reduced RNP assembly causes motor axon degeneration in an animal model for spinal muscular atrophy. Genes&Dev 19: 2320-2330.


Grimmler M, Martin L, Nousiainen M, Koerner R, Meister G and Fischer U (2005): Phosphorylation regulates the activity of the SMN-complex during assembly of spliceosomal U snRNPs. EMBOrep 6: 70-76.


Grohmann K, Rossoll W, Kobsar I, Holtmann B, Jablonka S, Stoltenberg-Didinger G, Hübner C, Fischer U, Martini R and Sendtner M (2004): Characterization of Ighmbp2 in motor neurons and implications for the pathomechanism in a mouse model for human spinal muscular atrophy with respiratory distress type 1 (SMARD1). Hum Mol Genet 15: 2031-2042.


Sun Y, Grimmler M, Schwarzer V, Schoenen F, Fischer U and Wirth B (2004): Molecular and functional analysis of intragenic SMN1 mutations in patients with spinal muscular atrophy. Hum Mutations 25: 64-71.


Malatesta M, Scassellati C, Meister G, Plöttner O, Bühler D, Sowa G, Martin TE, Keidel E, Fischer U and S Fakan (2004): Ultrastructural characterisation of a nuclear domain highly enriched in survival of motor neuron (SMN) protein. Exp Cell Res 292 (2): 312-321.


Pillai R, Grimmler M, Meister G, Will CL, Lührmann R, Fischer U and Schümperli D (2003): Unique Sm core structure of U7 snRNPs: assembly by a specialized SMN-complex and role of a new component, Lsm11, in histone RNA processing. Genes&Dev 17: 2321-2333.


Barth M, Meister G, Fischer U and Grässer F (2003): Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen 2 binds via its methylated arginine-glycine repeat to the survival motor neuron protein. J Virol 77: 5008-5014.


Meister G and Fischer U (2002): Assisted RNP assembly: SMN- and PRMT5-complexes cooperate in the formation of spliceosomal U snRNPs. EMBO J 21: 5853-5863.


Jablonka S, Holtmann B, Meister G, Bandilla M, Russoll W, Fischer U and Sendtner M (2002): Gene targeting of Gemin2 in mice reveals a correlation between defects in the biogenesis of U snRNPs and motor neuron cell death. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 99: 10126-10131.


Meister G, Eggert C, Bühler D, Brahms H, Kambach C and Fischer U (2001): Methylation of Sm proteins and regulation of U snRNP assembly by a complex containing PRMT5 and pICln. Current Biol 11: 1990-1994.


Brahms H, Meheus L, de Brabandere V, Fischer U and Lührmann R (2001): Symmetrical dimethylation of arginine residues in spliceosomal Sm protein B/B‘ and the Sm-like protein LSm4, and their interaction with the SMN protein. RNA 7(11): 1531-42.


Jones KW, Gorzynski K, Hales CM, Fischer U, Badbanchi F, Terns RM and Terns MP (2001): Direct interaction of the spinal muscular atrophy disease protein SMN with the core snoRNP protein fibrillarin. J Biol Chem 276(42): 38645-51.


Meister G, Bühler D, Pillai R, Lottspeich F and Fischer U (2001): A multiprotein complex mediates the ATP-dependent assembly of spliceosomal U snRNPs. Nat Cell Biol 3: 945-949.


Jablonka S, Bandilla M, Wiese S, Bühler D, Wirth B, Sendtner M and Fischer U (2001): Co-regulation of survival of motor neuron (SMN) protein and its interactor SIP1 during development and in spinal muscular atrophy. Hum Molec Genetics 10: 497-505.


Laggerbauer B, Ostareck D, Keidel E-M, Ostareck-Lederer A and Fischer U (2001): Evidence that fragile X mental retardation protein is a negative regulator of translation. Hum Molec Genetics 10: 329-338.


Meister G, Hannus S, Plöttner O, Laggerbauer B, Baars T, Hartmann E, Fakan S and Fischer U (2001): SMNrp is an essential pre-mRNA splicing factor required for the formation of the mature spliceosome. EMBO J 20: 2304-2314.


Meister G, Bühler D, Laggerbauer B, Zobawa M, Lottspeich F and Fischer U (2000): Characterization of a nuclear 20S complex containing the survival of motor neurons (SMN) protein and a specific subset of spliceosomal Sm proteins. Hum Molec Genetics 9: 1977-1986.


Selenko P, Sprangers O, Stier R, Bühler,G, Fischer U and Sattler M (2001): Structure and Sm protein interaction of the SMN Tudor domain. Nat Struct Biol 8: 27-31.


Hannus S, Seraphin B and Fischer U (2000): The Schizosaccharomyces pombe protein Yab8p and a novel factor, Yip1p, share structural and functional similarity with the Spinal Muscular Atrophy-associated proteins SMN and SIP1. Hum Molec Genetics 9: 663-674.


Bühler D, Raker V, Lührmann R and Fischer U (1999): Essential role for the Tudor domain of SMN in U snRNP assembly: implications for Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Hum Molec Genetics 8: 2351-2357.


Fischer U, Lührmann R, Dreyfuss G and Malim MH (1999): HIV-1 Rev accesses a non-mRNA export pathway that overrides nuclear retention of RNA. Nucleic Acids Res 27: 4128-4134.


Filali M, Qiu J, Awasthi S, Fischer U, Monos D and Kamoun M (1999): Monoclonal antibody specific to a subclass of polyproline-Arg motif provides evidence for the presence of an snRNA-free spliceosomal Sm protein complex in vivo: implications for molecular interactions involving proline-rich sequences of Sm B/B' proteins. J Cell Biochem 74: 168-180.


Malatesta M, Fakan S and Fischer U (1999): The Sm core domain mediates targeting of U1 snRNP in subnuclear compartments involved in transcription and splicing. Exp Cell Res 249: 189-198.


Fouchier RAM, Meyer BE, Simon, JHM, Fischer U, Albright AV, Gonzales-Scavano F and Malim MH (1998): Interaction of HIV-1 Vpr with the nuclear pore complex. J Virol 72: 6004-6013.


Fouchier RAM, Meyer BE, Simon JHM, Fischer U and Malim MH (1997): HIV-1 infection in non-dividing cells: evidence that the viral matrix protein is important for Gag processing but not for post-entry nuclear import. EMBO J 16: 4531-4539.


Lui Q, Fischer U and Dreyfuss G (1997): The spinal muscular atrophy disease gene product, SMN, and its associated protein SIP1 are in a complex with spliceosomal snRNP proteins. Cell 90: 1013-1021.


Fischer U, Lui Q and Dreyfuss G (1997): The SMN-SIP1 complex has an essential role in spliceosomal U snRNP biogenesis. Cell 90: 1023-1029.


Izaurralde E, Jarmolowski A, Beisel C, Mattaj IW, Dreyfuss G and Fischer U (1996): A role for the hnRNP A1 M9-transport signal in mRNA nuclear export. J Cell Biol 137: 27-35.


Sekine M, Kadokura M, Satoh T, Seio K, Wada T, Fischer U, Sumpter V and Lührmann R (1996): Chemical synthesis of a 5’-terminal TMG-capped ribonucleotide m32,2,7G5'pppAmpUmpA of U1 RNA. J Organic Chemistry 61: 4412-4422.


Fridell R, Fischer U, Lührmann R, Meyer BE, Meinkoth JL, Malim MH and Cullen BR (1996): Amphibian transcription factor IIIA proteins contain a sequence functionally equivalent to the nuclear export signal of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 Rev. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 93: 2936-2940.


Fischer U, Huber J, Boelens W, Mattaj IW and Lührmann R (1995): The HIV-1 Rev activation domain is a nuclear export signal that accesses an export pathway used by specific cellular RNAs. Cell 82: 475-483.


Sekine M, Kadolura M, Satoh T, Seio K, Wada T, Fischer U and Lührmann R (1994): Chemical synthesis of the 5´-terminal structure of U1 RNA. Nucl Acid Symp Series 31: 61-62.


Kammerloher W, Fischer U, Piechottka GP and Schäffner AR (1994): Water channels in the plant plasma membrane cloned by immunoselection from a mammalian expression system. The Plant J 6: 187-199.


Plessel G, Fischer U and Lührmann R (1994): m3G-cap hypermethylation of U1 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) in vitro: evidence that the U1 mall nuclear RNA-(Guanosine-N2)-methyltransferase is a non-snRNP cytoplasmic protein that requires a binding site on the Sm core domain. Mol Cell Biol 14: 4160-4172.


Fischer U, Meyer S, Teufel M, Heckel C, Lührmann R and Rautmann G (1994): Evidence that HIV-1 Rev directly promotes nuclear export of unspliced RNA. EMBO J 13: 4105-4112.


Hackl W, Fischer U and Lührmann R (1994): A 69-kD protein that associates reversibly with the Sm core domain of several spliceosomal snRNP species. J Cell Biol 124: 261-272.


Fischer U, Heinrich J, van Zee K, Fanning E and Lührmann R (1994): Nuclear transport of U1 snRNP in somatic cells: differences in signal requirement compared with Xenopus laevis oocytes. J Cell Biol 125: 971-980.


van Zee K, Dickmanns A, Fischer U, Lührmann R and Fanning E (1993): A cytoplasmically anchored nuclear protein interferes specifically with the import of nuclear proteins but not U1 snRNA. J Cell Biol 121: 229-240.


Fischer U, Sumpter V, Sekine M, Satoh T and Lührmann R (1992): Nucleo-cytoplasmic transport of U snRNPs: Definition of a nuclear location signal in the Sm core domain that binds a transport receptor independently of the m3G cap. EMBO J 12: 573-583.


Sumpter V, Kahrs A, Fischer U, Kornstädt U and Lührmann R (1992): In vitro reconstitution of U1 and U2 snRNPs from isolated proteins and snRNA. Mol Biol Report 16: 229-240.


Fischer U, Darzynkiewicz E, Tahara SM, Dathan NA, Lührmann R and Mattaj IW (1991): Diversity in the signals required for nuclear accumulation of U snRNPs and variety in the pathways of nuclear transport. J Cell Biol 113: 705-714.


Fischer U and Lührmann R (1990): An essential signalling role for the m3G cap in the transport of U1 snRNP to the nucleus. Science 249: 786-790.


Hornig H, Fischer U, Costas M, Rauh A and Lührmann R (1989): Analysis of genomic clones of the murine U1 RNA-associated 70-KDa proteins reveals a high evolutionary conservation of the protein between human and mouse. Eur J Biochem 182: 45-50.










Reviews and Book Chapter


Fischer U, Englbrecht C and Chari A (2011): Biogenesis of ribonucleoprotein particles involved in mRNA maturation. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: RNA.


Chari A and Fischer U (2010): Cellular strategies for the assembly of molecular machines. Trends Biochem Sci 35: 676-683.


Chari A and Fischer U (2009): Molekulares Bodybuilding: Wie Zellen RNA-Proteinkomplexe herstellen. Biospektrum 15. Jahrgang, Ausgabe 05/09.


Chari A, Paknia E and Fischer U (2009): The role of RNP biogenesis in Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Curr Opin Cell Biol 21: 387-393.


Kroiss M, Fischer U and Schultz J (2009): When one plus one equals three: Biochemistry and bioinformatics combine to answer complex questions. Fly 3: 212-214.


Neuenkirchen N, Chari A and Fischer U (2008): Deciphering the assembly pathway of Sm-class U snRNPs. FEBS Lett 582: 1997-2003.


Fischer U, Kroiss M and Chari A (2007): Wenn Muskeln die Nerven verlieren. Biospektrum 13. Jahrgang, Ausgabe 06/07.


Eggert C, Chari A, Laggerbauer B and Fischer U (2006): Spinal muscular atrophy: the RNP connection. Trends Mol Med 12: 113-121.


Eggert C and Fischer U (2003): Der Spinalen Muskelatrophie auf der Spur. Bioforum 11/2003.


Eggert C and Fischer U (2003): RNA-Interferenz: ein neues Werkzeug zur Analyse der Genfunktion. Biospektrum 9. Jahrgang, Ausgabe 04/03.


Meister G, Eggert C and Fischer U (2002): SMN-mediated assembly of RNPs: a complex story. Trends in Cell Biol. 12: 1-7.


Fischer U, Hannus S and Plöttner O (1999): Searching for the cause of spinal muscular atrophy. Innovation 7: 4-6.


Nakielny S, Fischer U, Michael WM and Dreyfuss G (1997): RNA-transport. Annu Rev Neurosci 20: 269-301.


Liu Q, Siomi H, Siomi MC, Fischer U, Zhang Y, Wan L and Dreyfuss G (1996): Molecular characterization of the protein products of the Fragile X Syndrome gene and the Survival of Motor Neurons gene. Cold Spring Harbor Symp Quant Biol 61: 689-697.


Fischer U, Michael WM, Lührmann R and Dreyfuss G (1996): Signal-mediated nuclear export pathways of proteins and RNAs.Trends in Cell Biol 6: 290-293.