Dieter Söll

Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry
Professor of Chemistry
Member of Yale faculty since 1967

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Research Our recent work has concentrated on the diverse roles of transfer RNA in various biological systems. We have focused on the evolutionary role of non-canonical components of the translational machinery. In particular, we are investigating the extensive use of transfer RNA-dependent amino acid transformations as the essential route to the synthesis of Asn-tRNA and Gln-tRNA in a vast variety of organisms. In addition, we are characterizing the mode of action of a novel bi-functional prolyl-tRNA synthetase which also forms Cys-tRNA, an enzyme present in archaea and lower eukaryotes. These findings redefine our understanding of aminoacyl-tRNA synthesis and provide novel insight into the possible origins of protein biosynthesis.

Ph.D. Stuttgart University, 1962
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1962-65
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1965-67

Guggenheim Fellow, 1972, 1989
Fellow, American Association of the Advancement of Science; Alexander von Humbolt U.S. Senior Scientist Award, 1988
Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology; Member, National Academy of Sciences

Recent Publications
A. Curnow, M. Ibba, & D. Söll, D. tRNA-dependent asparagine formation. Nature 1996, 382, 589-590.

M. Ibba, S. Morgan, A.W. Curnow, D.R. Pridmore, U.C. Vothknecht, W. Gardner, W. Lin, C.R. Woese, & D. Söll, D. A euryarchaeal lysyl-tRNA synthetase: resemblance to class I synthetases. Science 1997, 278, 1119-1122.

C. Stathopoulos, T. Li, R. Longman, U.C. Vothknecht, H. Becker, M. Ibba, & D. Söll, D. One polypeptide with two aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase activities. Science 2000, 287, 479-482.

D.L. Tumbula, H.D. Becker, W.Z. Chang, & D. Söll. Domain-specific recruitment of amide amino acids for protein synthesis. Nature 2000, 407, 106-110.

C.R. Woese, G. Olsen, M. Ibba, D. Söll, D. Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, the genetic code, and the evolutionary process. Microbiol. Mol. Biol. Rev. 2000, 64, 202-236.