Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

How mitochondria get their membranes bent

26.06.2009
Research team identified proteins regulating mitochondrial membrane structure

Mitochondria are the powerhouses of cells. Underneath their smooth surface they harbor an elaborately folded inner membrane. It holds a multitude of bottleneck like invaginations, which expand into elongated cavities (cristae).

The narrow shape of the entrance or pore to the cristae ('crista junction') allows separation of the intracristal space and storage of molecules. Cytochrome c, for example, an important signaling protein in programmed cell death (apoptosis), is stored in this compartment. When apoptosis is triggered, the pores enlarge and cytochrome c is released into the cytosol.

Thus, understanding of how the pore diameter and the shape of the inner membrane are regulated on a molecular basis is of great relevance to a better understanding of mitochondrial function in general. Recently, in cooperation with other research teams, the group of Prof. Andreas Reichert, who has been appointed as professor for Mitochondrial Biology to the Goethe University within the Cluster of Excellence Macromolecular Complexes in 2007, has identified two proteins linked in an antagonistic manner that are relevant for governing inner membrane structure.

In the current issue of the the Journal of Cell Biology Rabl, Soubannier et al. report on their quest of slow-growing baker`s yeast mutants harboring deformed mitochondria. Thereby, they discovered the protein Fcj1 ("Formation of criasta junction protein 1"), which is embedded in the inner membrane and accumulates at crista junctions. Upon increased expression of Fcj1 the number of cristae junctions goes up. Without the protein, however, crista junctions are lacking and the inner cristae membrane forms internal parallel stacks of vesicles.

On the other hand, the researchers found that regular assemblies (supercomplexes) of the F1FO-ATPase, a protein complex required for supplying the cell's energy, accumulated at the cristae tips but were less abundant at crista junctions. In addition, Fcj1 and the F1FO-ATPase appear to have opposing functions. In fact, Fcj1 reduces the formation of F1FO-supercomplexes. "We hypothesize, Fcj1 makes sure that the membrane can adopt a negative curvature, while the F1FO-ATPase supercomplex induces positive bending", Andreas Reichert interprets the results. "This is highly exciting, as we have for the first time found out how mitochondrial ultrastructure is regulated and which components determine the structure of crista junctions at all."

Original publication: Rabl, R.*, Soubannier, V.*, Scholz, R., Vogel, F., Mendl, N., Vasiljev-Neumeyer, A., Körner, C., Jagasia, R., Keil, T., Baumeister, W., Cyrklaff, M., Neupert, W., and Reichert, A.S. (2009). Formation of cristae and crista junctions in mitochondria depends on antagonism between Fcj1 and Su e/g. J Cell Biol, 2009; ePub 15th June 2009. *equally contributed

Dr. Andreas Reichert | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.kgu.de

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Complementing conventional antibiotics
24.05.2018 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Building a brain, cell by cell: Researchers make a mini neuron network (of two)
23.05.2018 | Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

When corals eat plastics

24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Surgery involving ultrasound energy found to treat high blood pressure

24.05.2018 | Medical Engineering

First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR

24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>