AG Respiratory Chain
In plants, the mitochondrial respiratory chain has several unique features. It includes additional enzymes which help to handle changes of the redox state in plant cells, e.g. caused by varying photosynthetic activity. Furthermore, the “classical” protein complexes of the respiratory chain (complexes I to IV, and ATP synthase (complex V)) include extra subunits in plants. These proteins partially introduce side activities into the complexes which are important in a broad functional context. Finally, several matrix- and inter membrane space- located dehydrogenases interact with the mitochondrial respiratory chain in plants, linking it to different metabolic pathways. Research of our group is focused on understanding the unique role of the respiratory chain in plants. What are the specific roles of the extra enzymes and the additional subunits of the respiratory protein complexes? Which mitochondrial enzymes and pathways are interacting with the system? How are these interactions regulated? Special attention is drawn to complex I which in plants has especially many subunits. Interestingly, it has two additional structural domains, one of which includes carbonic anhydrases. It has been suggested that these enzymes contribute to a plant specific mechanism for recycling mitochondrial CO2 for photosynthesis. To gain insights into the molecular biology of the respiratory chain in plants we apply a broad spectrum of biochemical and proteomic methods, like biochemical purification techniques, affinity chromatography, diverse gel electrophoresis systems, immune assays, enzyme activity measurements, and nLC-MS/MS. Results of our gel-based projects are provided at gelmap.de.