Joachim Matthias Gerhold
Research group Biochemistry of Organelles
ATP production is important for the survival of cells. In eukaryotic organisms, mitochondria produce ATP via oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), and chloroplasts produce it in the course of photosynthesis. We are approaching the biochemistry of organelles from different angles. On the one hand, we are studying mechanisms of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) maintenance. Genes that are essential for OXPHOS are encoded by the mtDNA which means that respective maintenance defects are prone to severely influence ATP production. Making use of the ease of the system, we are employing human HEK293 cells in order to study changes to mtDNA-protein complexes (nucleoids) in connection with mitochondria-associated ER-membranes (MAM).
On the other hand, we are using plant models in order to understand the influences of photosynthetically and/or OXPHOS derived energy carriers and metabolites. For this, we are monitoring changes to stomate regulation (stomates = structures in plant leaves that enable gas-exchange and transpiration). Stomate regulation requires, among others, activity of H+-ATPases which are depended on proper organelle function.
joachim.matthias.gerhold [ät] ut.ee