Tiina Tamm

Eukaryotic protein synthesis research group

We are interested in understanding the protein synthesis machinery in eukaryotes. The genetic information encoded in messenger RNA is translated into proteins by large ribonucleoprotein complex called ribosomes. The main research question of our studies is: How the function of eukaryotic ribosomes is determined by their structure?

To answer this question, we use a variety of methods from genetics, biochemistry and cell biology. In ongoing research, we explore the function of both ribosomal proteins and chemical modifications in ribosomal RNA. Among the ribosomal proteins, our emphasis is on eukaryotic proteins, which are important for the formation of contacts between ribosomal subunits. These contacts, called intersubunit bridges, ensure correct interaction and communication of ribosomal subunits during translation initiation and elongation steps. Among the many modifications of ribosomal RNA, we investigate those located at the functional centres of the ribosome and in the intersubunit region.

We use budding yeast strains containing mutant ribosomes. We explore how mutant ribosomal proteins or the absence of RNA modifications affect the different steps of protein synthesis, the processivity of ribosomes, fidelity of decoding and recognition of different mRNA elements such as upstream open reading frames (uORF), internal ribosome entry sites (IRES) and programmed ribosomal frameshift signals.


Leppik, M., Pomerants, L., Põldes, A., Mihkelson, P., Remme, J., Tamm, T. (2024) Loss of Conserved rRNA Modifications in the Peptidyl Transferase Center Leads to Diminished Protein Synthesis and Cell Growth in Budding Yeast. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(10), 5194. doi: 10.3390/ijms25105194

Kisly I, Tamm T. (2023) Archaea/eukaryote-specific ribosomal proteins - guardians of a complex structure. Comput Struct Biotechnol J. 21:1249-1261. doi: 10.1016/j.csbj.2023.01.037

Kisly, I., Kattel, C., Remme, J. Tamm, T. (2021) Luciferase-based reporter system for in vitro evaluation of elongation rate and processivity of ribosomes. Nucleic Acids Res. 49(10):e59. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkab121

Tamm T, Kisly I, Remme J. (2019) Functional Interactions of Ribosomal Intersubunit Bridges in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Genetics 213(4):1329-1339. doi: 10.1534/genetics.119.302777

Kisly I, Remme J, Tamm T. (2019) Ribosomal protein eL24, involved in two intersubunit bridges, stimulates translation initiation and elongation. Nucleic Acids Res. 47(1):406-420. doi: 10.1093/nar/gky1083

(in Estonian)

Novaator: Tartu Ülikooli teadlased tegid elu alusprotsesse uurides tähtsa avastuse

Kuku raadio:Teadus teab

Kuku raadio: Kuue samba taga. Mida uurivad molekulaarbioloogid ning kuidas nende töö aitab ravimitootjaid ja veinitegijaid? Saatekülaline on molekulaar- ja rakubioloogia instituudi professor Tiina Tamm.

Novaator: Gümnasistid tegid koos teadlastega kindlaks Eestis kasvavad pärmseened