RNA modifications




protein translation



2004: PhD in Neurobiology at the University of Catania. Supervisor: Dr. M. Gulisano. Thesis: “Regulation of homeobox genes in the central nervous system (CNS)”.

1996: M.Sc. University of Naples (110/110 with honours). Supervisor: Prof. Girolama Lamantia, Co-Supervisor: Prof. Antonio Simeone. Thesis: “Otx1 gene inactivation by means of homologous recombination”.

Research and employment

 2019 – present:Project leader in the Division of Biochemistry at Medical Faculty Mannheim of Heidelberg University.

·      Impact of RNA modification on protein translation. 

2008 – present:Research scientist in the Division of Epigenetics at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) Heidelberg.

·      Epitranscriptomics.

·      Queuosine tRNA modification.

·      RNA Cytosine methylation by mouse Dnmt2 and NSun2 in tRNA stability and protein synthesis.

·      DNA methylation in cellular differentiation.

2001 – present:CNR research scientist at the Institute of Genetics and Biophysics “A. Buzzati-Traverso”, Naples, Italy. Presently on leave of absence.

2000-2004: Ph.D. student in Neurobiology at the University of Catania. Supervisor: Dr. M. Gulisano. 

·      Regulation of homeobox genes in the developing brain.

·      Tangential migration of cells from the basal to the dorsal telencephalic regions in the chick.

1997-1998: Buzzati-Traverso research fellow at the International Institute of Genetics and Biophysics (IIGB), Naples, Italy 

·       Functional studies of the Otx genes in mouse.





Cell Biology 

Molecular biology


Transgenic mice

RNA bisulfite sequencing

Ribosome profiling


Legrand C, Tuorto F. (2019 in press). RiboVIEW: a computational framework for visualization, quality control and statistical analysis of ribosome profiling data. Nucleic Acids Research. DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkz1074 

Zhang Y, Shi J, Rassoulzadegan M, Tuorto F, Chen Q. (2019). Sperm RNA code programmes the metabolic health of offspringNat Rev Endocrinol. 15:489 8.

Tuorto FParlato R. (2019). rRNA and tRNA Bridges to Neuronal Homeostasis in Health and Disease. J Mol Biol. 19: 30122-6. Review. 

Müller M, Legrand C, Tuorto F, Kelly V, Atlasi Y; Lyko F; Ehrenhofer-Murray AE. (2019). Queuine links translational control in eukaryotes to a micronutrient from bacteria. Nucleic Acids Research. gkz063

Müller M, Samel-Pommerencke A, Legrand C, Tuorto F, Lyko F, Ehrenhofer-Murray AE. Division of labour: tRNA methylation by the NSun2 tRNA methyltransferases Trm4a and Trm4b in fission yeast.  (2019). RNA Biol.DOI: 10.1080/15476286.2019.1568819

Bormann F, Tuorto F, Cirzi C, Lyko F, Legrand C. BisAMP: A web-based pipeline for targeted RNA cytosine-5 methylation analysis. (2018). Methods. 18:30186-5.

Tuorto F, Legrand C, Cirzi C, Federico G, Liebers R, Müller M, Ehrenhofer-Murray AE, Dittmar G, Gröne HJ, Lyko F. (2018). Queuosine-modified tRNAs confer nutritional control of protein translation. EMBO J. e99777

Alupei MC, Maity P, Esser PR, Krikki I, Tuorto F, Parlato R, Penzo M, Schelling A, Laugel V, Montanaro L, Scharffetter-Kochanek K, Iben S. (2018). Loss of Proteostasis Is a Pathomechanism in Cockayne Syndrome. Cell Rep. 23:1612-1619. 

Zhang Y, Zhang Y, Shi J, Tuorto F, Li X, Liu Y, Liebers R, Zhang L, Qu L, Qian J, Pahima M, Liu Y, Yan M, Cao Z, Lei X, Cao Y, Peng H, Liu S, Wang W, Zheng H, Woolsey R, Quilici D, Zhai Q, Li L, Zhou T, Lyko F, Zhang Z, Zhou Q, Duan E, Chen Q. Dnmt2-dependent intergenerational transmission of paternally acquired metabolic disorders via sperm RNAs. (2018). Nature Cell Biology. 20:535-540

Legrand C, Tuorto F, Hartmann M, Liebers R, Jacob D, Helm M, Lyko F.  (2017). Statistically robust methylation calling for whole-transcriptome bisulfite sequencing reveals distinct methylation patterns for mouse RNAs. Genome Res. 
27: 1589-1596.

esse S, Bayer H, Alupei MC, Zügel M, Mulaw M, Tuorto F, Malmsheimer S, Singh K, Steinacker J, Schumann U, Ludolph AC, Scharffetter-Kochanek K, Witting A, Weydt P, Iben S. (2017). Ribosomal transcription is regulated by PGC-1alpha and disturbed in Huntington’s disease. Sci Rep. 7: 8513.

Tuorto F & Lyko F. Genome recoding by tRNA modifications. (2016). Open Biol. 6:160287 Review. 

Tuorto F, Herbst F, Alerasool N, Bender S, Popp O, Federico G, Reitter S, 
Liebers R, Stoecklin G, Gröne HJ, Dittmar G, Glimm H, Lyko F. (2015). The tRNA methyltransferase Dnmt2 is required for accurate polypeptide synthesis during haematopoiesis. EMBO J 34:2350-2362 

Kiani J, Grandjean V, Liebers R, Tuorto F, Ghanbarian H, Lyko F, Cuzin F, Rassoulzadegan M. (2013). RNA-mediated epigenetic heredity requires the cytosine methyltransferase Dnmt2. PLoS Genet. 
9: e1003498.

Hussain S, Tuorto F, Menon S, Blanco S, Cox C, Flores JV, Watt S, Kudo NR, Lyko F, Frye M. (2013). The mouse cytosine-5 RNA methyltransferase NSun2 is a component of the chromatoid body and required for testis differentiation. Mol Cell Biol. 33:1561-70. 

Tuorto F, Liebers R, Musch T, Schaefer M, Hofmann S, Kellner S, Frye M, Helm M, Stoecklin G, Lyko F. (2012). RNA cytosine methylation by Dnmt2 and NSun2 promotes tRNA stability and protein synthesis. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 19:900-5.

Bocker MT, Tuorto F, Raddatz G, Musch T, Yang FC, Xu M, Lyko F, Breiling A. (2012). Hydroxylation of 5-methylcytosine by TET2 maintains the active state of the mammalian HOXA cluster. Nat Commun. 3:818. 

Herbst F, Ball CR, Tuorto F, Nowrouzi A, Wang W, Zavidij O, Dieter SM, Fessler S, van der Hoeven F, Kloz U, Lyko F, Schmidt M, von Kalle C, Glimm H. (2012). Extensive methylation of promoter sequences silences lentiviral transgene expression during stem cell differentiation in vivo. Mol Ther. 5:1014-21. 

Schaefer M, Pollex T, Hanna K,Tuorto F, Meusburger M, Helm M, Lyko F. (2010). RNA methylation by Dnmt2 protects transfer RNAs against stress-induced cleavage.Genes Dev. 24:1590-1595.