C. elegans mitochondrial protein import
Mitochondria are the metabolic powerhouses of the cell and dysfunction of these organelles are associated with the development of age-related pathologies, including cancers and degenerative diseases. Although mitochondria have their own genomes, nuclear genes encode a vast majority of the proteins contributing to mitochondrial biogenesis.
In this project, our lab is undertaking a collaborative and multidisciplinary approach toward understanding the structure and function of the eukaryotic mitochondrial protein import machinery in health and disease using the model organism C. elegans. Advances in genome engineering and cryo-EM are particularly timely and will facilitate exploration of the multiprotein translocons of the inner and outer mitochondrial membrane, TIMs and TOMs, respectively.
1. Merry A, Qiao M, Hasler M, Kuwabara PE (2014) RAD-6: Pyrimidine synthesis and radiation sensitivity in Caenorhabditis elegans. Biochem J. 458: 343-53.
2. Joyce PI, Satija R, Chen M, Kuwabara PE (2012) The Atypical Calpains: Evolutionary analyses and roles in Caenorhabditis elegans cellular degeneration. PLoS Genet 8(3): e1002602. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002602.
3. Vallin E* et al. (2012) A Genome-Wide Collection of Mos1 Transposon Insertion Mutants for the C. elegans Research Community. PLoS ONE 7(2): e30482. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0030482.