Cluster of Excellence, University of Freiburg

The mitochondrial contact site and cristae organizing system as regulatory hub

Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Pfanner (CIBSS-PI), Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine), University of Freiburg

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The mitochondrial contact site and cristae organizing system (MICOS) is a large membrane protein complex of more than 2 MDa located in the mitochondrial inner membrane. MICOS is crucial for maintaining the architecture of the cristae membranes and forms contact sites with the mitochondrial outer membrane. We propose that MICOS forms the core of a large three-membrane-spanning network that connects machineries of different function, ranging from protein translocation to metabolite transport, membrane dynamics, respiration, and endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondria contact sites. We will analyse the dynamics and building of the MICOS network under different metabolic conditions. By combining yeast genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry and in vitro (synthetic) studies, we aim to dissect this membrane-spanning network and to define its proposed roles as a novel regulatory hub that controls mitochondrial biogenesis, bioenergetics and dynamics.

The project will be performed together with Dr. Heike Rampelt of the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Freiburg.

 

Adapted from Rampelt et al. Biochim. Biophys Acta 1864, 737-746 (2017)