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Prof Preiss is a molecular biologist determining the mechanisms and transcriptome-wide patterns of eukaryotic mRNA translation as one of life’s core processes and its regulation by RNA-binding proteins and non-coding RNA as a means of controlling gene activity.

He joined the translational control field in 1995 as a postdoctoral scientist and has since had a particular focus on mechanisms of translation initiation using yeast and mammalian cells and cell-free translation systems as his preferred models. In addition to his mechanistic work, he also studies global patterns of post-transcriptional control using microarray and next gen sequencing-based methods.

After starting his own group he continued to investigate the role of the mRNA cap and poly(A) tail and associated protein factors in determining mRNA utilisation. These studies overlap with work on the discovery of miRNA targets and the unravelling of their mechanism of action. Employing next gen sequencing technology (RNAseq) his group is further pursuing interests in the area of RNA (mRNA, miRNA, tRNA, other noncoding RNA) processing, modification, polyadenylation and utilisation.

Areas of expertise:

  • Gene Expression (Incl. Microarray And Other Genome Wide Approaches)
  • Epigenetics (Incl. Genome Methylation And Epigenomics)
  • Systems Biology
  • Proteomics And Intermolecular Interactions (Excl. Medical Proteomics)
  • Cell Metabolism
  • Bioinformatics
  • Mycology
  • Cell Development, Proliferation And Death
  • Enzymes
  • Cardiology (Incl. Cardiovascular Diseases)
  • Cancer Cell Biology

From 1986-91 Thomas Preiss studied Chemistry at the Philipps-Universität, Marburg (Germany) and the University of Bristol (UK), followed by PhD work (1992-95) at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (UK).

He spent the next seven years (1995-2002) as a postdoctoral scientist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratories (EMBL), Heidelberg (Germany), in parallel also completing his Habilitation in Biochemistry [Permission to teach at the professorial level] at the Medical Faculty of the Universität Heidelberg (Germany).

In 2002 he became a laboratory head at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute in Sydney and held conjoint appointments at the University of New South Wales (Senior Lecturer, then Associate Professor). In 2011 he accepted a position as Professor of RNA Biology at ANU/JCSMR.

Highlight publications

Published In

Liao Y, Castello A, Fischer B, Leicht S, Föehr S, Frese CK, Ragan C, Kurscheid S, Pagler E, Yang H, Krijgsveld J, Hentze MW, Preiss T.

The Cardiomyocyte RNA-Binding Proteome: Links to Intermediary Metabolism and Heart Disease.

Cell Rep. 2016 Aug 2;16(5):1456-69. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.06.084. Epub 2016 Jul 21.

Singhania R, Pavey S, Payne E, Gu W, Clancy J, Jubair L, Preiss T, Saunders N, McMillan NA.

Short interfering RNA induced generation and translation of stable 5' mRNA cleavage intermediates.

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2016 Aug;1859(8):1034-42. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagrm.2016.06.005. Epub 2016 Jun 16.

Archer SK, Shirokikh NE, Beilharz TH, Preiss T.

Dynamics of ribosome scanning and recycling revealed by translation complex profiling.

Nature. 2016 Jul 28;535(7613):570-4.

Schumann U, Shafik A, Preiss T.

METTL3 Gains R/W Access to the Epitranscriptome.

Mol Cell. 2016 May 5;62(3):323-4. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2016.04.024.

Soetanto R, Hynes CJ, Patel HR, Humphreys DT, Evers M, Duan G, Parker BJ, Archer SK, Clancy JL, Graham RM, Beilharz TH, Smith NJ, Preiss T.

Role of miRNAs and alternative mRNA 3'-end cleavage and polyadenylation of their mRNA targets in cardiomyocyte hypertrophy.

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2016 May;1859(5):744-56. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagrm.2016.03.010. Epub 2016 Mar 24.

Shafik A, Schumann U, Evers M, Sibbritt T, Preiss T.

The emerging epitranscriptomics of long noncoding RNAs.

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2016 Jan;1859(1):59-70. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagrm.2015.10.019. Epub 2015 Nov 2.

Sibbritt T, Shafik A, Clark SJ, Preiss T.

Nucleotide-Level Profiling of m 5 C RNA Methylation.

Post-Transcriptional Gene Regulation 2016:269-284.

Castello A, Hentze MW, Preiss T.

Metabolic Enzymes Enjoying New Partnerships as RNA-Binding Proteins.

Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism 2016;26(12):746-757. Doi: Epub 2015 Oct 28.

Preiss T.

All Ribosomes Are Created Equal. Really?

Trends Biochem Sci. 2015 Dec 9. pii: S0968-0004(15)00234-0. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2015.11.009. [Epub ahead of print]

Harrison PF, Powell DR, Clancy JL, Preiss T, Boag PR, Traven A, Seemann T, Beilharz TH.

PAT-seq: a method to study the integration of 3'-UTR dynamics with gene expression in the eukaryotic transcriptome.

RNA. 2015 Aug;21(8):1502-10. doi: 10.1261/rna.048355.114. Epub 2015 Jun 19.

Archer SK, Shirokikh NE, Preiss T.

Probe‐Directed Degradation (PDD) for Flexible Removal of Unwanted cDNA Sequences from RNA‐Seq Libraries.

Curr Protoc Hum Genet. 2015 Apr 1;85:11.15.1-11.15.36. doi: 10.1002/0471142905.hg1115s85.

Archer SK, Shirokikh NE, Hallwirth CV, Beilharz TH, Preiss T.

Probing the closed-loop model of mRNA translation in living cells.

RNA Biol. 2015;12(3):248-54. doi: 10.1080/15476286.2015.1017242.

Fu NY, Rios AC, Pal B, Soetanto R, Lun AT, Liu K, Beck T, Best SA, Vaillant F, Bouillet P, Strasser A, Preiss T, Smyth GK, Lindeman GJ, Visvader JE.

EGF-mediated induction of Mcl-1 at the switch to lactation is essential for alveolar cell survival.

Nat Cell Biol. 2015 Apr;17(4):365-75. doi: 10.1038/ncb3117. Epub 2015 Mar 2.

Srivastava M, Duan G, Kershaw NJ, Athanasopoulos V, Yeo JH, Ose T, Hu D, Brown SH, Jergic S, Patel HR, Pratama A, Richards S, Verma A, Jones EY, Heissmeyer V, Preiss T, Dixon NE, Chong MM, Babon JJ, Vinuesa CG.

Roquin binds microRNA-146a and Argonaute2 to regulate microRNA homeostasis.

Nat Commun. 2015 Feb 20;6:6253. doi: 10.1038/ncomms7253.

Hussein SM, Puri MC, Tonge PD, Benevento M, Corso AJ, Clancy JL, Mosbergen R, Li M, Lee DS, Cloonan N, Wood DL, Munoz J, Middleton R, Korn O, Patel HR, White CA, Shin JY, Gauthier ME, Lê Cao KA, Kim JI, Mar JC, Shakiba N, Ritchie W, Rasko JE, Grimmond SM, Zandstra PW, Wells CA, Preiss T, Seo JS, Heck AJ, Rogers IM, Nagy A.

Genome-wide characterization of the routes to pluripotency.

Nature. 2014 Dec 11;516(7530):198-206. doi: 10.1038/nature14046.

Tonge PD, Corso AJ, Monetti C, Hussein SM, Puri MC, Michael IP, Li M, Lee DS, Mar JC, Cloonan N, Wood DL, Gauthier ME, Korn O, Clancy JL, Preiss T, Grimmond SM, Shin JY, Seo JS, Wells CA, Rogers IM, Nagy A.

Divergent reprogramming routes lead to alternative stem-cell states.

Nature. 2014 Dec 11;516(7530):192-7. doi: 10.1038/nature14047.

Lee DS, Shin JY, Tonge PD, Puri MC, Lee S, Park H, Lee WC, Hussein SM, Bleazard T, Yun JY, Kim J, Li M, Cloonan N, Wood D, Clancy JL, Mosbergen R, Yi JH, Yang KS, Kim H, Rhee H, Wells CA, Preiss T, Grimmond SM, Rogers IM, Nagy A, Seo JS.

An epigenomic roadmap to induced pluripotency reveals DNA methylation as a reprogramming modulator.

Nat Commun. 2014 Dec 10;5:5619. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6619.

Clancy JL, Patel HR, Hussein SM, Tonge PD, Cloonan N, Corso AJ, Li M, Lee DS, Shin JY, Wong JJ, Bailey CG, Benevento M, Munoz J, Chuah A, Wood D, Rasko JE, Heck AJ, Grimmond SM, Rogers IM, Seo JS, Wells CA, Puri MC, Nagy A, Preiss T.

Small RNA changes en route to distinct cellular states of induced pluripotency.

Nat Commun. 2014 Dec 10;5:5522. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6522.

Keam SP, Young PE, McCorkindale AL, Dang TH, Clancy JL, Humphreys DT, Preiss T, Hutvagner G, Martin DI, Cropley JE, Suter CM.

The human Piwi protein Hiwi2 associates with tRNA-derived piRNAs in somatic cells.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2014 Aug;42(14):8984-95. doi: 10.1093/nar/gku620. Epub 2014 Jul 18.

CG Vinuesa, T Preiss.

Inflammation: Gone with Translation.

PLoS Genet. 2014 Jun 19;10(6):e1004442. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004442. eCollection 2014.

Archer SK, Shirokikh NE, Preiss T.

Selective and flexible depletion of problematic sequences from RNA-seq libraries at the cDNA stage.

BMC Genomics. 2014 May 26;15:401. doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-15-401.

Murat P, Zhong J, Lekieffre L, Cowieson NP, Clancy JL, Preiss T, Balasubramanian S, Khanna R, Tellam J.

G-quadruplexes regulate Epstein-Barr virus–encoded nuclear antigen 1 mRNA translation.

Nature chemical biology 10 (5), 358-364.

BJ Parker, T Preiss.

Computational modeling for RNA structure discovery and characterization.

RNA Nanotechnology, pp.51-72. doi: 10.1201/b15533-5.

Liang B, Soka M, Christensen AH, Olesen MS, Larsen AP, Knop FK, Wang F, Nielsen JB, Andersen MN, Humphreys D, Mann SA, Huttner IG, Vandenberg JI, Svendsen JH, Haunsø S, Preiss T, Seebohm G, Olesen SP, Schmitt N, Fatkin D.

Genetic variation in the two-pore domain potassium channel, TASK-1, may contribute to an atrial substrate for arrhythmogenesis.

J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2014 Feb;67:69-76. doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2013.12.014. Epub 2013 Dec 27.

Lai X, Beilharz T, Au WC, Hammet A, Preiss T, Basrai MA, Heierhorst J.

Yeast hEST1A/B (SMG5/6)–like proteins contribute to environment-sensing adaptive gene expression responses.

G3 (Bethesda). 2013 Oct 3;3(10):1649-59. doi: 10.1534/g3.113.006924.

Olesen M, Liang B, Soka M, Larsen AP, Knop FK, Wang F, Nielsen JB, Andersen MN, Humphreys D, Mann SA, Vandenberg JI, Svendsen JH, Haunsø S, Preiss T, Seebohm G, Olesen SP, Schmitt N, Fatkin D.

TASK-1 potassium channel mutations in atrial fibrillation.

European Heart Journal 2013 Aug 1;34(Issue suppl 1):3411. doi: Epub: 2013 Aug 1.

Muckenthaler M, T Preiss.

In Eukaryonten.

Grundlagen der Molekularen Medizin, 152.

Sibbritt T, Patel HR, Preiss T.

Mapping and significance of the mRNA methylome.

Wiley Interdiscip Rev RNA. 2013 Jul-Aug;4(4):397-422. doi: 10.1002/wrna.1166. Epub 2013 May 16.

Li CC, Young PE, Maloney CA, Eaton SA, Cowley MJ, Buckland ME, Preiss T, Henstridge DC, Cooney GJ, Febbraio MA, Martin DI, Cropley JE, Suter CM.

Maternal obesity and diabetes induces latent metabolic defects and widespread epigenetic changes in isogenic mice.

Epigenetics. 2013 Jun;8(6):602-11. doi: 10.4161/epi.24656. Epub 2013 Apr 26.

Castello A, Fischer B, Hentze MW, Preiss T.

RNA-binding proteins in mendelian disease.

Trends Genet. 2013 May;29(5):318-27. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2013.01.004. Epub 2013 Feb 15.

Hentze MW, Preiss T.

Circular RNAs: splicing's enigma variations.

EMBO J. 2013 Apr 3;32(7):923-5. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2013.53. Epub 2013 Mar 5.

Ohanian M, Humphreys DT, Anderson E, Preiss T, Fatkin D.

A heterozygous variant in the human cardiac miR-133 gene, MIR133A2, alters miRNA duplex processing and strand abundance.

BMC Genetics. 2013 March 6;14:18. doi: 10.1186/1471-2156-14-1.

Castello A, Fischer B, Eichelbaum K, Horos R, Beckmann BM, Strein C, Davey NE, Humphreys DT, Preiss T, Steinmetz LM, Krijgsveld J, Hentze MW.

Insights into RNA biology from an atlas of mammalian mRNA-binding proteins.

Cell. 2012 Jun 8;149(6):1393-406. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2012.04.031. Epub 2012 May 31.

Alexander Swarbrick, Susan L. Woods, Alexander Shaw, Asha Balakrishnan, Yuwei Phua, Akira Nguyen, Yvan Chanthery, Lionel Lim, Lesley J. Ashton, Robert L. Judson, Noelle Huskey, Robert Blelloch, Michelle Haber, Murray D. Norris, Peter Lengyel, Christopher S. Hackett, Thomas Preiss, Albert Chetcuti, Christopher S. Sullivan, Eric G. Marcusson, William Weiss, Noelle L'Etoile, and Andrei Goga.

miR-380-5p represses p53 to control cellular survival and is associated with poor outcome in MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma.

Nat Med. 2010 Oct; 16(10): 1134–1140.. doi: 10.1038/nm.2227. Epub 2010 Sep 26.

Hentze MW, Preiss T.

The REM phase of gene regulation.

Trends Biochem Sci. 2010 Aug;35(8):423-6. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2010.05.009. Epub 2010 Jun 16.

Zdanowicz A, Thermann R, Kowalska J, Jemielity J, Duncan K, Preiss T, Darzynkiewicz E, Matthias W. Hentze.

Drosophila miR2 primarily targets the m 7 GpppN cap structure for translational repression.

Molecular Cell 2009 Sept 24;35(6):881-888. doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2009.09.009.

Humphreys DT, Westman BJ, Martin DIK, Preiss T.

Inhibition of translation initiation by a microRNA.

MicroRNAs: from basic science to disease biology, 1st edn. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK (2008). Pages 85-101.

Lackner DH, Beilharz TH, Marguerat S, Mata J, Watt S, Schubert F, Preiss T, Bähler J.

A network of multiple regulatory layers shapes gene expression in fission yeast.

Mol Cell. 2007 Apr 13;26(1):145-55.

Humphreys DT, Westman BJ, Martin DIK, Preiss T.

MicroRNAs control translation initiation by inhibiting eukaryotic initiation factor 4E/cap and poly (A) tail function.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Nov 22;102(47):16961–16966. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0506482102. Epub 2005 Nov 15.

Preiss T, Baron-Benhamou J, Ansorge W, Hentze MW.

Homodirectional changes in transcriptome composition and mRNA translation induced by rapamycin and heat shock.

Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 2003;10:1039 - 1047. doi:10.1038/nsb1015. Epub: 9 November 2003.

Fortes P, Inada T, Preiss T, Hentze MW, Mattaj IW, Sachs AB.

The yeast nuclear cap binding complex can interact with translation factor eIF4G and mediate translation initiation.

Mol Cell. 2000 Jul;6(1):191-6.

Gebauer F, Corona DF, Preiss T, Becker PB, Hentze MW.

Translational control of dosage compensation in Drosophila by Sex‐lethal: cooperative silencing via the 5′ and 3′ UTRs of msl‐2 mRNA is independent of the poly (A) tail.

EMBO J. 1999 Nov 1;18(21):6146-54.

Preiss T, Hentze MW.

From factors to mechanisms: translation and translational control in eukaryotes.

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 1999 Oct;9(5):515-21.

De Gregorio E, Preiss T, Hentze MW.

Translation driven by an eIF4G core domain in vivo.

EMBO J. 1999 Sep 1;18(17):4865–4874. doi: 10.1093/emboj/18.17.4865.

Preiss T, Hentze MW.

Dual function of the messenger RNA cap structure in poly(A)-tail-promoted translation in yeast.

Nature. 1998 Apr 2;392(6675):516-20.

Preiss T, Chrzanowska-Lightowlers ZM, Lightowlers RN.

Glutamate dehydrogenase: an organelle-specific mRNA-binding protein.

Trends Biochem Sci. 1997 Aug;22(8):290.