The mitochondria and its protein making “plants” – mitoribosomes
Scientists uncover for the first time how the body’s energy makers are made using Cryo-Electron Microscopy (cryo-EM) at eBIC within Diamond.
A new paper, published in Science on the 19th February, by an international team of researchers reports an insight into ‘the molecular mechanism of membrane-tethered protein synthesis in mitochondria’. This is a fundamental understanding of how the human mitoribosome functions and could explain how it is affected by mutations and deregulation that lead to disorders such as deafness and diseases including cancer development.
Mitochondria are intracellular organelles which serve as tiny but potent powerhouses in our body. They use oxygen which we inhale and derivatives from food we eat to produce more than 90% of our energy, and therefore effectively support our life. Mitochondria are particularly important in high-energy demanding organs such as heart, liver, muscles and brain. For example, almost 40% of each heart muscle cell is made up of mitochondria.
Read more on the Diamond website
Image: The mitoribosome is attached to its membrane adaptor as it synthesises a bioenergetic protein (glow yellow).
Credit: Dan W. Nowakowski and Alexey Amunts