Alexey Petrov
Department of Biological Sciences
Assistant Professor

Office: 024 Rouse Life Sciences Bldg.

Lab: 020 Rouse Life Sciences Bldg.

Address: 101 Life Sciences Bldg.
Auburn University, AL 36849

Phone: (334) 844-1676

Fax: (334) 844-1645



Postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Joseph D. Puglisi, Stanford University
Ph.D. with Dr. Jonathan Dinman, University of Maryland, College Park
B.S. Moscow State University, Russia

Research and Teaching Interests

Protein synthesis is essential for every aspect of life. As result, the disruption and abnormalities of translation are linked to numerous diseases including cancer, viral infections, and metabolic and developmental diseases. We are interested in 1) how mRNAs are selected by translational system, and how it leads to the progression of the disease. 2) How molecular machine called ribosome makes proteins with astonishing speed and precision, reading 20 codons per second while making less than 1 mistake in 3000 codons, virtually insuring that no error is ever made. We use combination of biochemistry and the super resolution fluorescent microscopy to answer these questions.

Selected Publications

  1. Huang T, Choi J, Prabhakar, Puglisi JD, Petrov A. 2023. Partial spontaneous intersubunit rotations in pretranslocation ribosomes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023. Oct 10;120(41):e2114979120.

  2. Ou Z, Petrov A. 2023. Sordarin bound eEF2 unlocks spontaneous forward and reverse translocation on CrPV IRES. Nucleic Acids Res. 2023 Jun 7;gkad476. 

  3. Wang J, Johnson AG, Lapointe CP, Choi J, Prabhakar A, Chen DH, Petrov AN, Puglisi JD. 2019. eIF5B gates the transition from translation initiation to elongation. Nature. 2019 Sep;573(7775):605-608.  

  4. Choi J, Indrisiunaite G, DeMirci H, Ieong KW, Wang J, Petrov A, Prabhakar A, Rechavi G, Dominissini D, He C, 
Ehrenberg M & Puglisi JD, 2018. How 2′-O-methylation in mRNA disrupts tRNA decoding during translation elongation. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2018 Mar;25(3):208-216. 

  5. Balázs Z, Tombácz D, Szűcs A, Csabai Z, Megyeri K, Petrov AN, Snyder M, Boldogkői Z. 2017. Long-Read Sequencing of Human Cytomegalovirus Transcriptome Reveals RNA Isoforms Carrying Distinct Coding Potentials. Sci Rep 7:15989.

  6. Johnson AG, Petrov AN, Fuchs G, Majzoub K, Grosely R, Choi J, Puglisi JD. 2017. Fluorescently-tagged human eIF3 for single-molecule spectroscopy. Nucleic Acids Res:gkx1050-gkx1050.

  7. Prabhakar A, Capece MC, Petrov A, Choi J, and Puglisi JD. 2017. Post-termination Ribosome Intermediate Acts as the Gateway to Ribosome Recycling. Cell Rep. 20, 161–172.

  8. Prabhakar A, Choi J, Wang J, Petrov A, and Puglisi JD. 2017. Dynamic basis of fidelity and speed in translation: Coordinated multistep mechanisms of elongation and termination. Protein Sci. 26, 1352–1362.

  9. Johnson AG, Grosely R, Petrov A, Puglisi JD 2017. Dynamics of IRES-mediated translation. Philos Trans R Soc B Biol Sci 372:20160177.

  10. Chen J, Choi J, O’Leary SE, Prabhakar A, Petrov A, Grosely R, Puglisi EV, Puglisi JD 2016. The molecular choreography of protein synthesis: translational control, regulation, and pathways. Q Rev Biophys 49:e11.

  11. Petrov A, Grosely R, Chen J, O’Leary SE, Puglisi JD 2016. Multiple Parallel Pathways of Translation Initiation on the CrPV IRES. Mol Cell 62:92–103.

  12. Choi J, Ieong K-W, Demirci H, Chen J, Petrov A, Prabhakar A, O’Leary SE, Dominissini D, Rechavi G, Soltis SM, Ehrenberg M, Puglisi JD 2016. N6-methyladenosine in mRNA disrupts tRNA selection and translation-elongation dynamics. Nat Struct Mol Biol 23:110–5.

  13. Chen J, Coakley A, O’Connor M, Petrov A, O’Leary SE, Atkins JF, Puglisi JD 2015. Coupling of mRNA Structure Rearrangement to Ribosome Movement during Bypassing of Non-coding Regions. Cell 163:1267–1280.

  14. Petrov A, Fuchs G, Marceau CD, Popov LM, Chen J, O’Leary SE, Wang R, Carette JE, Sarnow P, Puglisi JD 2015. Kinetic pathway of 40S ribosomal subunit recruitment to hepatitis C virus internal ribosome entry site. Proc Natl Acad Sci 112:319–325.

  15. Chen J, Petrov A, Johansson M, Tsai A, O’Leary SE, Puglisi JD 2014. Dynamic pathways of −1 translational frameshifting. Nature 512:328–332.

  16. Chen J, Dalal RV, Petrov AN, Tsai A, O’Leary SE, Chapin K, Cheng J, Ewan M, Hsiung P-L, Lundquist P, Turner SW, Hsu DR, Puglisi JD 2014. High-throughput platform for real-time monitoring of biological processes by multicolor single-molecule fluorescence. Proc Natl Acad Sci 111:664–9.

  17. Chen J, Petrov A, Tsai A, O’Leary SE, and Puglisi JD 2013. Coordinated conformational and compositional dynamics drive ribosome translocation. Nat Struct Mol Biol 20: 718–727.

  18. O’Leary SE, Petrov A, Chen J, Puglisi JD 2013. Dynamic recognition of the mRNA cap by Saccharomyces cerevisiae eIF4E. Structure 21:2197–2207.

  19. Chen J, Tsai A, O’Leary SE, Petrov A, Puglisi JD 2012. Unraveling the dynamics of ribosome translocation. Curr Opin Struct Biol 22:804–814.

  20. Tsai A, Petrov A, Marshall RA, Korlach J, Uemura S, Puglisi JD 2012. Heterogeneous pathways and timing of factor departure during translation initiation. Nature 487:390–393.

  21. Petrov A, Chen J, O’Leary S, Tsai A, Puglisi JD 2012. Single-molecule analysis of translational dynamics. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol 4(9).

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Last updated: 11/03/2023