Prof. Yair Aharonowitz

Emeritus in Biotechnology
מקרוביולוגיה מולקולרית אמריטוס
Prof. Yair Aharonowitz
Phone: 03-6409411
Fax: 09-7451935
Office: Green - Biotechnology, 06




Ph.D; Microbiology, Tel Aviv University

1966-1968 M.Sc.; Microbiology & Biochemistry, Tel Aviv University


Academic Appointments:

1997-2001 Vice President and Dean for Research and Development; Tel Aviv University
1995-1997 Director; The Laura-Schwarz-Kipp Institute of Biotechnology
1993-1994 Sabbatical; Department of Biochemistry, Karolinska Institute- Stockholm, Sweden
1993-present Professor; Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology; Tel Aviv University
1990-1992 Chairman; Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology, Tel Aviv University
1989-1990 Chairman; Department of Biotechnology, Tel Aviv University
1986-1988 Chairman; Department of Microbiology, Tel Aviv University


Research Interests

My lab is currently researching these topics:

  • A novel bacterial route for the synthesis of glutathione: A multifunctional fused protein (GshF) integrates the two primary catalytic activities. 
  • Development of new selective and essential targets for antibiotics, and their use in specific drug discovery programs. 
  • The Ribonucleotide reductase system of Staphylococcus aureus and Streptomyces coelicolor.
  • Studies on control of bacterial gene expression by “riboswitch” mechanisms.


Please see the following link for a full research description.

Recent Publications

For a full publication list


Since 2004:

Uziel Orit, Ilya Borovok, Rachel Schreiber, Gerald Cohen and Yair Aharonowitz. (2004) Transcriptional regulation of the Staphylococcus aureus thioredoxin and thioredoxin reductase genes in responde to oxygenand disulfide stress. Journal of Bacteriology 186: 326-334 


James K. Lithgow, Emma J. Hayhurst, Gerald Cohen, Yair haronowitz, and Simon J. Foster (2004) Role of a Cysteine Synthase in Staphylococcus aureus. J. Bacteriol. 186: 1579-1590  


Borovok, I., Gorovitz, B., Yanku, M., Schreiber, R., Gust, B., Chater, K., Aharonowitz, Y., Cohen, G., (2004) Alternative oxygen-dependent and oxygen-independent ribonucleotide reductases in Streptomyces: cross-regulation and physiological role in response to oxygen limitation. Molecular Microbiology 54:1022-1035.


Gopal, S., Borovok, I., Ofer, A., Yanku, M., Cohen, G., Goebel, W., Kreft, J.,and Aharonowitz, Y., (2005). A multidomain fusion protein in Listeria monocytogenes catalyzes the two primary activities for glutathione biosynthesis. J. Bacteriol. 187: 3839-3847


Borovok, I., Gorovitz, B., Schreiber, R., Aharonowitz, Y., Cohen, G., (2006) Coenzyme B12 Controls Transcription of the Streptomyces Class Ia Ribonucleotide Reductase nrdABS Operon via a Riboswitch Mechanism. J. Bacteriol. 188: 2512-2520


Zhang, S., Borovok, I., Aharonowitz, Y., Sharan, R., Bafna, V. (2006) A sequence-based filtering method for ncRNA identification and its application to searching for riboswitch elements. Bioinformatics. 2006 Jul 15;22(14):e557-65


Grinberg, I., Shteinberg, T., Gorovitz, B., Aharonowitz, Y., Cohen, G., Borovok, I. (2006) The Streptomyces coelicolor NrdR protein contains Zn-finger and ATP-cone domains and regulates transcription of the ribonucleotide reductase operons. J. Bacteriol. 188:7635-7644.


Torrents, E. I. Grinberg, B. Gorovitz-Harris, H. Lundström, I. Borovok, Y. Aharonowitz, B. Sjöberg and Cohen, G. (2007) NrdR controls differential expression of the Escherichia coli ribonucleotide reductase genes. J Bacteriol. 189:5012-5021.


Makhlin J, Kofman T, Borovok I, Kohler C, Engelmann S, Cohen G, Aharonowitz, y. (2007) Staphylococcus aureus ArcR controls expression of the arginine deiminase operon. J Bacteriol. 189:5976-5986.


Grinberg I, Shteinberg T, Hassan Q, Aharonowitz Y, Borovok I, and Cohen, G. (2009) Functional analysis of the Streptomyces coelicolor NrdR ATP-cone domain: Role in nucleotide binding, oligomerization and DNA interactions. J. Bacteriol. 191: 1169-1179.


Malki L, Yanku M, Borovok I, Cohen G, Mevarech M, Aharonowitz, Y. (2009) Identification and characterization of gshA, a gene encoding the glutamate-cysteine ligase in the halophilic archeon Haloferax volcanii. J Bacteriol. 191: 5196-5204


Pöther DC, Liebeke M, Hochgräfe F, Antelmann H, Becher D, Lalk M, Lindequist U, Borovok I, Cohen G, Aharonowitz Y, Hecker M. (2009) Diamide triggers mainly S-Thiolations in the cytoplasmic proteomes of Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus. J Bacteriol. 191:7520-7530.


Rabinovitch I, Yanku M, Yeheskel A, Cohen G, Borovok I, Aharonowitz Y. (2010) Staphylococcus aureus NrdH redoxin is a reductant of the class Ib ribonucleotide reductase. J Bacteriol. 192:4963-4972


Ofer A, Kreft J, Logan DT, Cohen G, Borovok I, Aharonowitz Y. (2011) Implications of the Inability of Listeria monocytogenes EGD-e To Grow Anaerobically Due to a Deletion in the Class III NrdD Ribonucleotide Reductase for Its Use as a Model Laboratory Strain. J Bacteriol. 193:2931-2940.


Pöther DC, Gierok P, Harms M, Mostertz J, Hochgräfe F, Antelmann H, Hamilton CJ, Borovok I, Lalk M, Aharonowitz Y, Hecker M. (2013) Distribution and infection-related functions of bacillithiol in Staphylococcus aureus. Int J Med Microbiol. 303:114-23.




Jensen,S.E., Westlake,D.W.S., Leskiw, B.K., Aharonowitz,Y., and Mevarech,M., Cloning and nucleotide sequence determination of the isopenicillin N synthetase gene from Streptomyces clavuligerus. Application for Canadian Letter Patent, Aug. 10.1987. serial No 544122 

European patent, 88306779.5; 22.07.88 


Aharonowitz,Y. ACV reductase system, the set of ACV reductase genes and a method for influencing and using the expression of these genes for increasing antibiotic production.

European Patent Application EP 0-462-674-A1 Date of filling 18.06.91


Aharonowitz, Y., et al. 1994. Oxido reductase enzyme system obtained from P. chrysogenum. Oxido reductase enzyme system obtainable from P. chrysogenum, the set of genes encoding the same and the use of oxido reductase enzyme systems or genes encoding the same for increasing antibiotic production

US Patent 5,328,839 July 12 1994; US Patent 5,652,132 July 29 1997; US Patent 5,753,435 May 19 1998


Aharonowitz, et al., 2004. Recombinant Staphylococcus thioredoxin reductase and inhibitors thereof useful as antimicrobial agents.

U.S. Patent No. 6,767,536 , July 27, 2004


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