Exploring the mitochondrial gene expression using interaction proteomics.

Monday 25 March 2024, 12:30 pm
PhD student
A. Potter MSc.
prof. dr. J.A.M. Smeitink, dr. J.N. Spelbrink
dr. A. Cabrera Orefice

For optimal functioning, our bodies rely on mitochondria - tiny entities present in most animal cells. Currently incurable, diseases affecting mitochondria often stem from issues with their genes, which house instructions for RNA and proteins essential to mitochondrial function. To precisely produce these molecules, numerous proteins continually collaborate with one another, as well as with mitochondrial DNA and RNA. Our understanding of this intricate network is incomplete, with new proteins and their functions regularly identified. This thesis advances our understanding of the mitochondrial gene expression system by confirming known interactions and refining research methods. It features a first-time characterization of a previously unknown protein, linking it to mitochondrial gene expression. Additionally, it presents an improved protocol for large-scale investigation of protein complexes containing fragile RNA and DNA molecules. Moreover, this work resulted in an extensive complexomics dataset – a valuable resource for future studies.

Alisa Potter (1992) has obtained her master’s degree in Biotechnology from Saint-Petersburg Technical University, Russia, in 2015. In 2017, she joined the group of dr. Hans Spelbrink in the Department of Paediatrics of Radboudumc as a Marie Sklodowska-Curie PhD fellow. In February 2024, she started her  postdoc at the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology.