Exactly 20 years after the successful completion of the "Human Genome Project", an international group of researchers, the Human Genome Structural Variation Consortium (HGSVC), has now sequenced 64 human genomes at high resolution. This reference data includes individuals from around the wo ... more
Superresolution live-cell imaging provides unexpected insights into the dynamic structure of mitochondria
As power plants and energy stores, mitochondria are essential components of almost all cells in plants, fungi and animals. Until now, it has been assumed that these functions underlie a static structure of mitochondrial membranes. Researchers at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and have now discovered that the inner membranes of mitochondria are by no means static, but rather constantly changing their structure every few seconds in living cells. This dynamic adaptation process further increases the performance of our cellular power plants.
"In our opinion, this finding fundamentally changes the way our cellular power plants work and will probably change the textbooks," says Prof. Dr. Andreas Reichert, Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology I at the HHU.
Mitochondria are extremely important components in cells performing vital functions including the regulated conversion of energy from food into chemical energy in the form of ATP. ATP is the energy currency of cells and an adult human being produces (and consumes) approximately 75 kilograms of ATP per day. One molecule of ATP is produced about 20,000 times a day and then consumed again for energy utilization. This immense synthesis capacity takes place in the inner membrane of the mitochondria, which has numerous folds called cristae. It was previously assumed that a specific static structure of the cristae ensured the synthesis of ATP. Whether and to what extent cristae membranes are able to dynamically adapt or alter their structure in living cells and which proteins are required to do so, was unknown.
The research team of Prof. Dr. Andreas Reichert with Dr. Arun Kondadi and Dr. Ruchika Anand from the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology I of the HHU in collaboration with the research team of Prof. Dr. Orian Shirihai and Prof. Dr. Marc Liesa from UCLA (USA) succeeded for the first time in showing that cristae membranes in living cells continuously change their structure dynamically within seconds within mitochondria. This showed that the cristae membrane dynamics requires a recently identified protein complex, the MICOS complex. Malfunctions of the MICOS complex can lead to various serious diseases, such as Parkinson's disease and a form of mitochondrial encephalopathy with liver damage. After the identification of the first protein component of this complex (Fcj1/Mic60) about ten years ago by Prof. Andreas Reichert and his research group, this is another important step to elucidate the function of the MICOS complex.
"Our now published observations lead to the model that cristae, after membrane fission, can exist for a short time as isolated vesicles within mitochondria and then re-fuse with the inner membrane. This enables an optimal and extremely rapid adaptation to the energetic requirements in a cell," said Prof. Andreas Reichert.
- live cell imaging
Resolving genomes, particularly plant genomes, is a very complex and error-prone task. This is because there are several copies of all of the chromosomes and they are very alike. A team of bioinformatics researchers from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) has now developed a softwar ... more
Tea (Camellia sinensis) is one of the world's most popular drinks with a wide range of flavours and health benefits. Researchers from Huazhong Agricultural University of Wuhan (China), Forschungszentrum Jülich, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf and the Max Planck Institute of Molecular P ... more
Waterborne diseases affect more than 2 billion people worldwide, causing substantial economic burden. For example, the treatment of waterborne diseases costs more than $2 billion annually in the United States alone, with 90 million cases recorded per year. Among waterborne pathogen-related ... more
UCLA biochemists have achieved a first in biology: viewing at near-atomic detail the smallest protein ever seen by the technique whose development won its creators the 2017 Nobel Prize in chemistry. That technique, called cryo-electron microscopy, enables scientists to see large biomolecule ... more
UCLA bioengineering professor Ali Khademhosseini has led the development of a tissue-based soft robot that mimics the biomechanics of a stingray. The new technology could lead to advances in bio-inspired robotics, regenerative medicine and medical diagnostics. The simple body design of stin ... more
- 1Detect neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's by a simple eye scan?
- 2Fluorescence microscopy at highest spatial and temporal resolution
- 3The Mechanics of the Immune System
- 4Resolve Biosciences Launches New Era in Single-Cell Spatial Analysis
- 5Quick look under the skin
- 6New ion trap to create the world's most accurate mass spectrometer
- 7How does your computer smell?
- 8Clocking electron movements inside an atom
- 9Sartorius closes 2020 with strong growth
- 10A clear path to better insights into biomolecules
- Researchers develop blood test for depression, bipolar disorder
- Aviation safety: Rapid test for harmful microbes in kerosene developed
- Doping by athletes could become tougher to hide with new detection method
- First images of cells exposed to COVID-19 vaccine reveal native-like Coronav ...
- Speeding up sequence alignment across the tree of life