Profile image of Bernhard Dichtl

Dr Bernhard Dichtl



Senior Lecturer


Faculty of Sci Eng & Built Env


School of Life & Env Sciences


Melbourne Burwood Campus


GCHE Exempt, Deakin University, 2011
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Edinburgh, 1998

Biography summary

Dr Dichtl’s did his PhD studies at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany and at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland working on the molecular toxicity of lithium and the processing of ribosomal RNA and transfer RNA precursors. Supported by an EMBO long-term fellowship he then took up post-doctoral work at the Biocenter, in Basel Switzerland where he studied the mechanisms of pre-mRNA polyadenylation and transcription termination. A highly competitive and prestigious Foerderprofessur grant of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) allowed him to establish his own research group at the Institute of Molecular Life Sciences, University of Zurich, Switzerland. There, he expanded his research activities to the analyses of chromatin modifying enzymes and the assembly of multi-protein complexes. Dr Dichtl’s laboratory relocated to Deakin University at the end of 2010. In 2014 he won an ARC Discovery Project grant to study the mechanisms of protein complex formation.

Research interests

1) The role and regulation of alternative polyadenylation in health and disease.

Pre-mRNA 3’ end formation is an essential RNA maturation step that impacts on virtually all aspects of mRNA function. The process adds a tail of approximately 250 adenosines to the 3’ end of mRNA and determines the length of the 3’ Un-Translated Region (3’UTR), which is targeted by a large number of regulatory factors. Control of 3’UTR length via alternative Polyadenylation (APA) is an important mechanism to control gene expression. We are interested in the regulation of APA and how it is integrated with cellular signaling pathways.

2) The function and regulation of the Set1C histone methyltransferase.
Histone modifying enzymes regulate diverse processes that occur in association with chromatin. We performed extensive yeast two-hybrid screening in order to identify novel cellular roles for the Set1C chromatin-modifying enzyme. This resulted in a recent publication in Science (Acquaviva et al., 2013), where we identified the molecular mechanisms, which link chromatin modification of histone H3 lysine 4 to the formation of double strand DNA breaks, to initiate the process of meiotic recombination.

3) Co-translational protein complex formation.
Multi-protein complexes constitute some of the most relevant molecular units of cellular function. Despite their important role it remains mysterious how eukaryotic cells manage to assemble with precision hundreds of different complexes in the crowded cytoplasmic compartment that produces thousands of nascent proteins at the same time. Recently published work from our laboratory demonstrated that assembly of protein complexes can be initiated on nascent proteins as they emerge from the ribosome (Halbach et al, 2009). We are currently investigating the functional significance of co-translational protein interactions.

Units taught

SLE212 Biochemistry (Unit chair)

SLE222 Biochemical Metabolism (Unit chair)


Several exiting Honours projects as well as SLE314 Research projects are available in my lab! Please write me an email if you would like to have a chat about those projects!


Filter by


Recommendations for a 'Wellbeing Curriculum' to Mitigate Undergraduate Psychological Distress Associated with Lack of Careers Confidence and Poor University Engagement

Julia Choate, Danica Vojisavljevic, Fiona Carroll, David Carroll, Caitlin Filby, Bernhard Dichtl

(2022), Vol. 12, pp. 92-103, Higher Education Studies, Toronto, Ont., C1

journal article

Genetic and pharmacological evidence for kinetic competition between alternative poly(A) sites in yeast

R Turner, P Harrison, A Swaminathan, C Kraupner-Taylor, B Goldie, M See, A Peterson, R Schittenhelm, D Powell, D Creek, B Dichtl, T Beilharz

(2021), Vol. 10, eLife, England, C1

journal article

Requirement for cleavage factor IIm in the control of alternative polyadenylation in breast cancer cells

R Turner, L Henneken, M Liem-Weits, P Harrison, A Swaminathan, R Vary, I Nikolic, K Simpson, D Powell, T Beilharz, B Dichtl

(2020), Vol. 26, pp. 969-981, RNA, United States, C1

journal article

Co-translational control of protein complex formation: A fundamental pathway of cellular organization?

N Williams, B Dichtl

(2018), Vol. 46, pp. 197-206, Biochemical Society Transactions, C1

journal article

A role for Mog1 in H2Bub1 and H3K4me3 regulation affecting RNAPII transcription and mRNA export

P Oliete-Calvo, J Serrano-Quílez, C Nuño-Cabanes, M Pérez-Martínez, L Soares, B Dichtl, S Buratowski, J Pérez-Ortín, S Rodríguez-Navarro

(2018), Vol. 19, EMBO Reports, England, C1

journal article

Coordination of cell cycle progression and mitotic spindle assembly involves histone H3 lysine 4 methylation by set1/COMPASS

T Beilharz, P Harrison, D Miles, M See, U Le, M Kalanon, M Curtis, Q Hasan, J Saksouk, T Margaritis, F Holstege, V Geli, B Dichtl

(2017), Vol. 205, pp. 185-199, Genetics, United States, C1

journal article

The COMPASS subunit Spp1 links histone methylation to initiation of meiotic recombination

L Acquaviva, L Szekvolgyi, B Dichtl, B Dichtl, L De, A Nicolas, V Geli

(2013), Vol. 339, pp. 215-218, Science, Washington, D.C., C1

journal article

Polyglutamine tracts as modulators of transcriptional activation from yeast to mammals

L Atanesyan, V Günther, B Dichtl, O Georgiev, W Schaffner

(2012), Vol. 393, pp. 63-70, Biological chemistry, Berlin, Germany, C1-1

journal article

The P-Loop domain of yeast Clp1 mediates interactions between CF IA and CPF factors in Pre-mRNA 3′ end formation

S Holbein, S Scola, B Loll, B Dichtl, W Hübner, A Meinhart, B Dichtl

(2011), Vol. 6, pp. 1-10, PLoS One, San Francisco, Calif, C1-1

journal article

RiboSys, a high-resolution, quantitative approach to measure the in vivo kinetics of pre-mRNA splicing and 3'-end processing in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

R Alexander, J Barrass, B Dichtl, M Kos, T Obtulowicz, M Robert, M Koper, I Karkusiewicz, L Mariconti, D Tollervey, B Dichtl, J Kufel, E Bertrand, J Beggs

(2010), Vol. 16, pp. 2570-2580, RNA, Woodbury, N.Y., C1-1

journal article

Coupled RNA polymerase II transcription and 3′ end formation with yeast whole-cell extracts

L Mariconti, B Loll, K Schlinkmann, A Wengi, A Meinhart, B Dichtl

(2010), Vol. 16, pp. 2205-2217, RNA, Woodbury, N.Y., C1-1

journal article

Cordycepin interferes with 3' end formation in yeast independently of its potential to terminate RNA chain elongation

S Holbein, A Wengi, L Decourty, F Freimoser, A Jacquier, B Dichtl

(2009), Vol. 15, pp. 837-849, RNA, Woodbury, N.Y., C1-1

journal article

Cotranslational assembly of the yeast SET1C histone methyltransferase complex

A Halbach, H Zhang, A Wengi, Z Jablonska, I Gruber, R Halbeisen, P Dehe, P Kemmeren, F Holstege, V Geli, A Gerber, B Dichtl

(2009), Vol. 28, pp. 2959-2970, Embo Journal, London, England, C1-1

journal article

Cordycepin-hypersensitive growth links elevated polyphosphate levels to inhibition of poly(A) polymerase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

S Holbein, F Freimoser, T Werner, A Wengi, B Dichtl

(2008), Vol. 36, pp. 353-363, Nucleic acids research, Oxfird, England, C1-1

journal article

The role of the putative 3′ end processing endonuclease Ysh1p in mRNA and snoRNA synthesis

M Garas, B Dichtl, W Keller

(2008), Vol. 14, pp. 2671-2684, RNA, Woodbury, N.Y., C1-1

journal article

Protein interactions within the SET1 complex and their roles in the regulation of histone 3 lysine 4 methylation

P Dehe, B Dichtl, D Schaft, A Roguev, M Pamblanco, R Lebrun, A Rodríguez-Gil, M Mkandawire, K Landsberg, A Shevchenko, A Shevchenko, L Rosaleny, V Tordera, S Chávez, V Géli

(2006), Vol. 281, pp. 35404-35412, Journal of biological chemistry, Baltimore, Md, C1-1

journal article

Coupling between snoRNP assembly and 3' processing controls box C/D snoRNA biosynthesis in yeast

M Morlando, M Ballarino, P Greco, E Caffarelli, B Dichtl, I Bozzoni

(2004), Vol. 23, pp. 2392-2401, EMBO journal, London, England, C1-1

journal article

Functions for S. cerevisiae Swd2p in 3' end formation of specific mRNAs and snoRNAs and global histone 3 lysine 4 methylation

B Dichtl, R Aasland, W Keller

(2004), Vol. 10, pp. 965-977, RNA, Woodbury, N. Y., C1-1

journal article

Independent functions of yeast Pcf11p in pre-mRNA 3´ end processing and in transcription termination

M Sadowski, B Dichtl, W Hubner, W Keller

(2003), Vol. 22, pp. 2167-2177, EMBO journal, London, England, C1-1

journal article

The role of the yeast cleavage and polyadenylation factor subunit Ydh1p/Cft2p in pre-mRNA 3' end formation

A Kyburz, M Sadowski, B Dichtl, W Keller

(2003), Vol. 31, pp. 3936-3945, Nucleic acids research, Oxford, England, C1-1

journal article

Functional analysis of yeast snoRNA and snRNA 3' end formation mediated by uncoupling of cleavage and polyadenylation

M Morlando, P Greco, B Dichtl, A Fatica, W Keller, I Bozzoni

(2002), Vol. 22, pp. 1379-1389, Molecular and cellular biology, Washington, D. C., C1-1

journal article

Yhh1p/Cft1p directly links poly(A) site recognition and RNA polymerase II transcription termination

B Dichtl, D Blank, M Sadowski, W Hubner, S Weiser, W Keller

(2002), Vol. 21, pp. 4125-4135, EMBO journal, London, C1-1

journal article

A role for SSU72 in balancing RNA polymerase II transcription elongation and termination

B Dichtl, D Blank, M Ohnacker, A Friedlein, D Roeder, H Langen, W Keller

(2002), Vol. 10, pp. 1139-1150, Molecular cell, Cambridge, Mass., C1-1

journal article

Recognition of polyadenylation sites in yeast pre-mRNAs by cleavage and polyadenylation factor

B Dichtl, W Keller

(2001), Vol. 20, pp. 3197-3209, EMBO journal, London, England, C1-1

journal article

Yeast Rnt1p is required for cleavage of the pre-ribosomal RNA in the 3' ETS but not the 5' ETS

J Kufel, B Dichtl, D Tollervey

(1999), Vol. 5, pp. 909-917, RNA, Woodbury, N. Y., C1-1

journal article

Pop3p is essential for the activity of the RNase MRP and RNase P ribonucleoproteins in vivo

B Dichtl, D Tollervey

(1997), Vol. 16, pp. 417-429, EMBO journal, London, England, C1-1

journal article

Lithium toxicity in yeast is due to the inhibition of RNA processing enzymes

B Dichtl, A Stevens, D Tollervey

(1997), Vol. 16, pp. 7184-7195, EMBO journal, London, England, C1-1

journal article

Properties of an in vitro selected Pb2+ cleavage motif

T Pan, B Dichtl, O Uhlenbeck

(1994), Vol. 33, pp. 9561-9565, Biochemistry, Washington, D. C., C1-1

journal article

Replacement of RNA hairpins by in vitro selected tetranucleotides

B Dichtl, T Pan, A di Renzo, O Uhlenbeck

(1993), Vol. 21, pp. 531-535, Nucleic acids research, Oxford, England, C1-1

journal article

Funded Projects at Deakin

Australian Competitive Grants

Co-translational protein complex formation: a fundamental pathway of cellular organization?

Dr Bernhard Dichtl, Asst/Prof Daniel Zenklusen, Asst/Prof Marlene Oeffinger

ARC - Discovery Projects

  • 2016: $122,647
  • 2015: $120,597
  • 2014: $118,475

Industry and Other Funding

Regulation and assembly of the Set1C/COMPASS histone methyltransferase

Dr Bernhard Dichtl

Swiss National Science Fund Research Grant

  • 2011: $153,758


Associate Supervisor

Shashank Masaldan

Thesis entitled: Investigating Metal aberrations in Cellular Senescence

Doctor of Philosophy (Life & Env), School of Life and Environmental Sciences