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Levinger, Louis

Levinger, Louis

Curriculum Vitae


Phone: 718-262-2704
Office Location: AC-4E03A


Degree Institution Field Dates
PhD  University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill  Biochemistry  1978 
BS  Antioch College  Biology  1973 

Dr. Levinger studies RNA-Protein interactions using biochemistry and molecular biology. The reaction he investigates is the 3 end processing of tRNA precursors. All RNAs are transcribed as precursors and undergo maturation. Mature tRNAs are essential for protein synthesis. In this research project we construct mutations in both the enzyme and substrate and analyze their effects on this important reaction.

Areas of Expertise

Molecular Biology
Nucleic Acid-Protein Interactions

Articles in Field Of Expertise

Levinger L, O Jacobs*, M James*.. "In vitro 3' end endonucleolytic processing defect in a human mitochondrial tRNASer(UCN) precursor with the U7445C substitution, which causes non-syndromic deafness." Nucleic Acids Research. 29 2001: 4334-4340.

Levinger, L., Giegé, R., Florentz, C. "Pathology-related substitutions in human mitochondrial tRNAIle reduce precursor 3' end processing efficiency in vitro." Nucleic Acids Research. 31 2003: 1904-1912.

Dubrovsky, E.B., Dubrovskaya, V.A., Levinger, L., Schiffer, S., Marchfelder, A.. "The biological role of RNase Z is tRNA 3’ end processing of mitochondrial and nuclear pre-tRNAs." Nucleic Acids Research. 32 2004: 255-262.

Levinger, L., Oestreich, I., Florentz, C., Mörl, M. "A pathogenesis-associated mutation in human mitochondrial tRNALeu(UUR) leads to reduced 3’-end processing and CCA addition." J. Mol. Biol.. 337 2004: 535-544.

Toompuu, M., Levinger, L., Nadal, A., Jacobs, H.. "The 7472insC mtDNA mutation impairs 5´ and 3´ processing of tRNASer(UCN)." Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm.. 322 2004: 803-813.

Levinger L, Mörl M, Florentz C.. "Mitochondrial tRNA 3' end metabolism and human disease." Nucl. Acids Res.. 32 2004: 5430-5441.

Zareen, N., Yan, H., Hopkinson, A.*, Levinger, L.. "Residues in the conserved His domain of fruit fly tRNase Z that function in catalysis are not involved in substrate recognition or binding." J. Mol. Biol.. 350 2005: 189-199.

Yan, H., Zareen, N., and Levinger, L.. "Naturally occurring mutations in human mitochondrial pre-tRNASer(UCN) can affect the tRNase Z cleavage site, processing kinetics and substrate secondary structure." J. Biol. Chem.. 281 2006: 3926-3935.

Zareen, N., Hopkinson, A.*, Levinger, L.. "Residues in two homology blocks on the amino side of the tRNase Z His domain contribute unexpectedly to pre-tRNA 3’ end processing." RNA. 12 2006: 1104-1115.

Karkashon, S., Hopkinson, A, and Levinger, L.. "tRNase Z Catalysis and Conserved Residues on the Carboxy Side of the His Cluster." Biochemistry. 46 2007: 9380-9387.

Hopkinson, A., and Levinger, L.. "Effects of Conserved D/T Loop Substitutions in the Pre-tRNA Substrate on tRNase Z Catalysis." RNA Biol.. 5 2008: 104-111.

Levinger, L., Hopkinson, A., Desetty, R., and Wilson, C.. "Effect of changes in the flexible arm on tRNase Z processing kinetics." J. Biol. Chem.. 284 2009: 15685-15691.

Schaller A, Desetty R, Hahn D, Jackson CB, Nuoffer JM, Gallati S, Levinger L.. "Impairment of mitochondrial tRNA(Ile) processing by a novel mutation associated with chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia." Mitochondrion. 11 2011: 488–496.

Levinger, L., and Serjanov, D.. "Pathogenesis-related Mutations in the T-Loops of Human Mitochondrial tRNAs Affect 3’ End Processing and tRNA Structure." RNA Biol.. in press 12-13-2011 2012: 12.

Christopher Wilson, Daryl Ramai, Dmitri Serjanov, Neema Lama, Louis Levinger and Emmanuel J. Chang. "A Flexible Arm and Tether in the Long Form of tRNase Z Characterized by Limited Proteolysis and Mass Spectrometry." J. Biol. Chem.. submitted 02-10-2012 2012: 13.

Professional Honors, Prizes, Fellowships

Sabbatical Fellowship: 2001-2002.


NIH F33GM103190-01, Domain Structure of tRNase ZL, the Long Form of tRNase Z. submitted fellowship proposal: .

9R15GM101620-03, tRNase Z is Central to Pre-tRNA Maturation. 7/1/12-6/30/15 pending with a priority of 10: $300,000.

NIH SC3GM08153, The Head of the tRNase Z Recognition and Binding Domain. 7/1/08-6/30/12: $300,000.

NIH SC3GM08153S1, The Head of the tRNase Z Recognition and Binding Domain. Supplemental support for a research technician. 7/1/08-5/31/11: $77,750.

NIH 2R15CA120072-02, Regulation of Substrate Binding and Catalysis in tRNase Z. 7/1/09-6/30/12: $150,000.

NIH 2R15CA120072-02S1, Supplemental summer support for undergraduates. 7/1/09-6/30/11: $35,121.

NIH 2R15CA120072-02S1, Undergraduate Diversity supplement - Kyla-Gaye Pinnock. 10/01/09-5/31/12: $42,842.

Reso A Equipment, Purchase of an AKTA Purifier FPLC. 12/20/2010: $91,000.

NIH T34GM08498, Laboratory Research Training for Minority Undergraduates. 6/1/06-5/31/08: $100,000.