© Hector Fellow Academy
8. March 2022
New study in partic­i­pa­tion of Nikolaus Pfanner

Prof. Pfanner inves­ti­gates protein complexes in mitochondria

The study, led by Dr. Heike Rampelt and Prof. Nikolaus Pfanner of the Insti­tute of Biochem­istry and Molec­u­lar Biology at the Univer­sity of Freiburg, was carried out in collab­o­ra­tion with researchers from Saarland Univer­sity, the Univer­sity of Freiburg and the Univer­sity of Groning/Netherlands.

Mitochon­dria burn metabolic products with the help of oxygen and are consid­ered power plants of the cell. They are thus an impor­tant compo­nent for the body's energy supply. This process takes place in the inner membrane of the mitochon­dria. Two impor­tant protein complexes in the inner mitochon­dr­ial membrane are ATP synthase and the MICOS complex.

As the researchers have now discov­ered using biochem­i­cal methods such as fluores­cence microscopy and electron microscopy, which can be used to visual­ize the membrane archi­tec­ture, the two protein complexes MICOS and ATP synthase can commu­ni­cate with each other. This commu­ni­ca­tion is impor­tant for mitochon­dr­ial function and thus an essen­tial compo­nent of human metab­o­lism and efficient respiration.