Oxidative cell death: the mitochondrion

Current work:

The main focus of our work is the study of alterations of the mitochondrial properties upon pathological conditions, leading to variations, perturbations and deterioration of the mitochondrial membranes. 

In order to understand these decisive processes at the molecular level, we have developed biochemical methods with the specific use of free flow electrophoresis (ZE-FFE) to isolate highly pure mitochondria (Zischka et al., Proteomics 2003 and Zischka et al., Meth. Mol. Biol. in press 2008) from yeast. In collaborative efforts such mitochondrial preparations were analyzed in one of the most comprehensive studies of the mitochondrial proteome (Prokisch et al. PloS Biology, 2004) and revealed the mitochondrial participation in yeast apoptosis (Braun et al. J. Biol. Chem, 2006). Furthermore, we demonstrated the electrophoretic discrimination of different mitochondrial populations (Zischka et al. Mol. Cell Prot., 2006).

Therefore, a strong emphasis of our work lies in further improvements of this approach which has first been established for the analysis of yeast mitochondria and has recently been adapted to mitochondria from mammalian organisms (Zischka et al., Meth. Mol. Biol. in press 2008).

<link http: www.helmholtz-muenchen.de>

Electron micrographs of mitochondria isolated from rat liver and purified by ZE-FFE.

more ...