Juan Alfonzo

Juan Alfonzo

Juan Alfonzo

Professor | Microbiology


(614) 292-0004

218 Aronoff

Professional Website

Office Hours

Lab Phone: 614 292-0141

Areas of Expertise

  • tRNA in mitochondrial bio-genesis and disease


  • Postdoc, UCLA (1995-2002)
  • Ph.D., Indiana University (1995)
  • B.S., Indiana University (1985)

Juan Alfonzo is an Arts & Sciences Distinguished Professor of Microbiology. He leads a lab team that focuses on RNA processing events that are unique to trypanosomes and that could be exploited as targets for the design of therapies against protozoan diseases. 

Dr. Alfonzo has been invited to participate in many seminars and has contribuited greatly to the scientific community through his various publications.


Relevant Publications

  • Paris Z, Changmai P, Rubio MA, Zikova A, Stuart KD, Alfonzo JD & Lukes J. (2010) The Fe/S cluster assembly protein Isd11 is essential for tRNA thiolation in Trypanosoma brucei. J Biol Chem. May 4 [Epub ahead of print].
  • Phizicky EM & Alfonzo JD. (2010) Do all modifications benefit all tRNAs? FEBS Lett. 584, 265-71.
  • Wohlgamuth-Benedum JM, Rubio MA, Paris Z, Long S, Poliak P, Lukes J & Alfonzo JD.(2009) Thiolation controls cytoplasmic tRNA stability and acts as a negative determinant for tRNA editing in mitochondria. J Biol Chem284, 23947-53.
  • Alfonzo, JD & Söll D. (2009) Mitochondrial tRNA import - the challenge to understand has just begun. Biol Chem390, 717-22.
  • Rubio, MA, Rinehart J, Krett B, Duvezin-Caubet S, Reichert AS, Söll D & Alfonzo JD  (2008) Mammalian mitochondria have the innate ability to import tRNAs by a mechanism distinct from protein import. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 105, 9186-91.
  • Gaston KW, Rubio MA, Spears JL, Pastar I, Papavasiliou FN & Alfonzo JD  (2007) C to U editing at position 32 of the anticodon loop precedes tRNA 5' leader removal in trypanosomatids. Nucleic Acids Res35, 6740-9.
  • Rubio MA, Pastar I, Gaston KW, Ragone FL, Janzen CJ, Cross GA, Papavasiliou FN & Alfonzo JD  (2007) An adenosine-to-inosine tRNA-editing enzyme that can perform C-to-U deamination of DNA. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 104, 7821-6.
  • Rubio MA, Ragone FL, Gaston KW, Ibba M & Alfonzo JD. (2006) C to U editing stimulates A to I editing in the anticodon loop of a threonyl tRNA in trypanosomatids. J Biol Chem281, 115-20.
  • Rinehart J, Krett B, Rubio MA, Alfonzo JD & Söll D. (2005) Saccharomyces cerevisiaeimports the cytosolic pathway for Gln-tRNA synthesis into the mitochondrion. Genes Dev. 19, 583-92.

Dr. Alfonzo is also a winner of the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching.

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