Organisms have developed unique and highly optimal strategies to cater for their energetic needs. In a recent study published in Nature, scientists from Helsinki University in collaboration with groups from Sweden and UK studied the bioenergetic machinery of a ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila.
Tetrahymena thermophila is a free-living single cell eukaryote found in ponds and lakes. First, cryo-electron microscopy and tomography were applied to obtain a high-resolution 3D structure of its bioenergetic supercomplex. The highly bent supercomplex structure imparts a strong curvature to the inner mitochondrial membrane of Tetrahymena thermophila. The membrane bending was studied by coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations performed by Outi Haapanen and Vivek Sharma (Computational Bioenergetics Group).
The membrane-supercomplex architecture provides a unique tubular structure to mitochondria of Tetrahymena thermophila, and serves its specialized functional requirements.
Structural basis of mitochondrial membrane bending by the I–II–III2–IV2 supercomplex
Structural basis of mitochondrial membrane bending by I–II–III2–IV2 supercomplex
High resolution structure and molecular simulations of a key bioenergetic protein (15.1.2020)
Researchers find that accessory subunit plays a key role in biological energy conversion by mitochondrial complex I (2.12.2020)
Researchers discovered an important role for hydrogen bonding in mitochondrial disease mutation (30.8.2021)
Atomistic insights into the structure of mitochondrial complex I (23.11.2021)