CARELL GROUP – Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry

DNA Materials – Repair of DNA Damage – RNA Modifications

An introduction to the CARELL GROUP

carell group laboratories



The high-tech campus Großhadern, where the LMU Departments of Pharmacy, Chemistry and Biochemistry have been located since 1999, is the home base of the Carell group.

With a foundation in synthetic organic chemistry, the group reaches out to unravel the mysteries of the molecules of life, with emphasis on the nucleic acids. These versatile molecules are both extremely stable and extremely diverse in their chemistry.

In the case of DNA, highly efficient replication and repair systems have ensured the stability of the genetic code for millions of years. In the case of RNA, about 170 different building blocks of RNA have been identified so far. The function of these molecules spans from information storage and inheritance to the regulation of life-processes and fascinating catalytic properties. It is at this interface between Chemistry and Biology where the Carell group positions itself.


Elucidation of gluQ
Johann de Graaff, 17.11.2023
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We are proud to report the first synthesis of the bacterial tRNA base glutamylated Queuosine (gluQ) and, using UHPLC-MS-coinjection and NMR studies, we were able to show that the isolated natural gluQ is the α-allyl-connected gluQ compound. Check it out!

Aminoisoxazol protoRNA
Aminoisoxazole-Based Proto-RNA
Johann de Graaff, 16.10.2023
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Prebiotically plausible 3- and 5-aminoisoxazole nucleosides are shown to be excellent candidates for proto-nucleosides and proto-RNAs. After incorporation into RNA, the proto-nucleosides stereoselectively rearrange to cytidine and uridine. Check it out!

Orthogonal end labeling
Orthogonal dual end labeling of Oligos
Johann de Graaff, 22.10.2023
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Here, we present a new technology to consecutively modify oligonucleotides at both ends with click-modifiable functional groups. Our approach is suitable for both oligo-oligo ligations as well as circularization. Check it out!

Unified Prebiotic Pyrimidine Formation
Unified Prebiotic Pyrimidine Formation
Johann de Graaff, 29.03.2023
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For the pyrimidines, two seemingly contradictory but prebiotically plausible pathways had been proposed. We could show that these two reaction sequences can be merged under prebiotically reasonable conditions. Check it out!

RNA Peptide Loading
Prebiotic Loading of Amino Acids
Johann de Graaff, 08.03.2023
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We could report prebiotic chemistry that enabled the loading of both nucleosides and RNAs with amino acids as the first step toward RNA-based peptide synthesis in a putative RNA-peptide world. Check it out!

Focus of the group



A Synonym for Successful DNA Research


Our research is centered around the Chemical Biology of Nucleic Acids. We have a special interest in RNA and DNA modifications, including regulatory/epigenetic modifications as well as detrimental DNA lesions and their repair. An additional research focus includes synthetic modifications, such as applying click chemistry to DNA, building brighter probes for diagnostics and optimizing gene transfer.



Novel Phosphoramidites of New Epigenetic Bases


The Carell group has developed sophisticated tools for DNA and RNA research. These are isotopically labelled nucleosides for tracing and quantification. Our phosphoramidites are now sold through GlenResearch. Find out what is available.


Publications CARELL GROUP

The Complete List


Here you will find a complete list of our published research in high-impact journals like Science, Nature, Cell and Angewandte Chemie.

Links will guide you to the publishers' websites. Latest papers on top.


Lectures and Courses



Prof. Carell teaches bioorganic chemistry (OC3) in the Bachelor of Chemistry and Biochemistry program. He offers a program in Chemical Biology, consisting of two lectures and a practical course. In the Supplements section, students can find study examples for their exam preparation.

Our laboratories

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