Credit: Dan W. Nwakowski and Alexei Amonts
Mitochondria are forceful organelles in our bodies. They use the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat to produce the energy that supports our life. This molecular activity is carried out by nano-bioenergy plants embedded in specialized mitochondrial membranes. Nanofabrics consist of proteins that collaboratively transport ions and electrons to generate chemical energy. It must be maintained, replaced, and repeated continuously during cell division. To tackle this, mitochondria have their own bioenergetic protein-making machine called the mitochondria. Due to its main role, the deregulation of the metribosome can lead to medical disorders such as deafness and diseases including the development of cancer. The first basic understanding of how metribosomes appeared was achieved in 2014.
Seven years ago, our work on the myitoribosome structure of yeast called the solution revolution. The current study represents a further advance over the original hack. Not only does it reveal how the human metribosome is designed in an unprecedented level of detail, but it also explains the molecular mechanism that drives the bioenergetic process to nourish life, “says lead author Alexei Amonts.
The term decision revolution was coined in Science A journal regarding the first successful identification of metribosome structure. This represents a methodological innovation in applying electron microscopy to understand molecular structures. However, that first glimpse into the architecture revealed only a partial picture of a static model. However, the metribosome is a flexible molecular machine that requires the movement of its parts relative to one another to perform the work. Therefore, in the current study, the team used an advanced infrastructure to collect and process 30 times more data that enabled them to obtain enough information to characterize the conformational changes during protein synthesis and binding to the membrane transformer.
Our study reveals that the metribosome is more flexible and active than previously thought. The discovery of intrinsic harmonic changes represents a gateway mechanism for the metroribosome without similarity in bacterial and cellular systems. Together, the data provide molecular insights into how bioenergy proteins are synthesized in human mitochondria, ”adds Alexei Amonts.
Sequencing of the human mitochondrial genome 40 years ago was a turning point in mitochondrial research, as it postulated a putative specialized mechanism for the synthesis of mitochondrial membrane proteins. The unearthed gate mechanism of the human metribosome represents a unique event. Therefore, the structural data provides a critical and long-awaited understanding of how bioenergy proteins are synthesized by the metribosome in our bodies. This knowledge will help to better understand human diseases and use them to develop new treatments.
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