Dr. Erzberger received his undergraduate degree in Biological Chemistry from Harvard University and his Ph.D. Molecular and Cell Biology in the lab of James Berger at the University of California, Berkeley, studying DNA replication initiation in bacteria.

During his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Nenad Ban at the ETH Zürich, Dr. Erzberger focused on studies of the eukaryotic translation initiation machinery, developing a novel hybrid structural approach, combining x-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy and mass-spectrometry to investigate the role of eIF3, a large, multiprotein initiation factor.

Since joining the faculty of UT Southwestern in 2015, Dr. Erzberger has using integrative methodologies centered on cryo-electron microscopy to elucidate the assembly mechanism of the large (60S) ribosomal subunit, in particular the role of ATPases, GTPases and methyltransferases in carrying out RNA modification reactions to guide the accurate biogenesis of 60S subunits.


Graduate School
Harvard College (1995), Biocchemical Sciences
Graduate School
Uni of California, Berkeley (2005), Molecular Biology

Research Interest

  • Structural and biochemical characterization of dynamic protein-RNA complexes during ribosome biogenesis


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Structure of a yeast 40S-eIF1-eIF1A-eIF3-eIF3j initiation complex.
Aylett CH, Boehringer D, Erzberger JP, Schaefer T, Ban N Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 2015 Mar 22 3 269-71
Molecular architecture of the 40S·eIF1·eIF3 translation initiation complex.
Erzberger JP, Stengel F, Pellarin R, Zhang S, Schaefer T, Aylett CH, Cimermancic P, Boehringer D, Sali A, Aebersold R, Ban N Cell 2014 Aug 158 5 1123-35
Architecture of the large subunit of the mammalian mitochondrial ribosome.
Greber BJ, Boehringer D, Leitner A, Bieri P, Voigts-Hoffmann F, Erzberger JP, Leibundgut M, Aebersold R, Ban N Nature 2014 Jan 505 7484 515-9
Nucleotide and partner-protein control of bacterial replicative helicase structure and function.
Strycharska MS, Arias-Palomo E, Lyubimov AY, Erzberger JP, O'Shea VL, Bustamante CJ, Berger JM Mol. Cell 2013 Dec 52 6 844-54
Structure of the C-terminus of the mRNA export factor Dbp5 reveals the interaction surface for the ATPase activator Gle1.
Dossani ZY, Weirich CS, Erzberger JP, Berger JM, Weis K Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2009 Sep 106 38 16251-6
Structural synergy and molecular crosstalk between bacterial helicase loaders and replication initiators.
Mott ML, Erzberger JP, Coons MM, Berger JM Cell 2008 Nov 135 4 623-34
The septin family of GTPases: architecture and dynamics.
Weirich CS, Erzberger JP, Barral Y Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell Biol. 2008 Jun 9 6 478-89