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.