Alexey Amunts

Key publications

Mechanism of mitoribosomal small subunit biogenesis and preinitiation.
Itoh Y, Khawaja A, Laptev I, Cipullo M, Atanassov I, Sergiev P, Rorbach J & Amunts A (2022).

Mechanism of membrane-tethered mitochondrial protein synthesis.
Itoh Y, Andrell J, Choi A, Richter U, Maiti P, Best R, Barrientos A, Battersby B & Amunts A (2021).

Interconnected assembly factors regulate the biogenesis of mitoribosomal large subunit.
Tobiasson V, Gahura O, Aibara S, Baradaran R, Zíková A & Amunts A (2021).

ATP synthase hexamer assemblies shape cristae of Toxoplasma mitochondria.
Mühleip A, Flygaard RK, Ovciarikova J, Lacombe A, Fernandes P, Sheiner L & Amunts A (2021).
Nature Comm.

Type III ATP synthase is a symmetry-deviated dimer that induces membrane curvature through tetramerization.
Flygaard RK, Mühleip A, Tobiasson V & Amunts A (2020).
Nature Comm.

Analysis of translating mitoribosome reveals functional characteristics of translation in mitochondria of fungi.
Itoh Y, Naschberger A, Mortezaei N, Herrmann JM & Amunts A (2020).
Nature Comm.

Structural basis of mitochondrial translation.
Aibara S, Singh V, Modelska A & Amunts A (2020).

Ciliate mitoribosome illuminates evolutionary steps of mitochondrial translation.
Tobiasson V & Amunts A (2020).

Distinct structural modulation of photosystem I and lipid environment stabilizes its tetrameric assembly.
Chen M, Perez-Boerema A, Zhang L, Li Y, Yang M, Li S & Amunts A (2020).
Nature Plants.

Structure of a minimal photosystem I from the green alga Dunaliella salina.
Perez-Boerema A, Klaiman D, Caspy I, Netzer-El S, Amunts A & Nelson N (2020).
Nature Plants.

Distinct pre-initiation steps in human mitochondrial translation
Khawaja A, Itoh Y, Remes C, Spåhr H, Yukhnovets O, Höfig H, Amunts A & Rorbach J (2020).
Nature Comm.

Research Interests

Our research group investigates the fundamental question of how proteins are synthesized, folded and assembled into functional multicomponent bioenergetic complexes that drive the cellular energy production.

Living cells ultimately depend on the conversion of energy derived from foodstuff and light into the chemical form of energy. This crucial bioenergetic step is performed in the membrane systems of mitochondria and chloroplasts. Each one of these organelle types has developed dedicated gene expression and assembly machineries that have diverged from the cytosolic counterparts. While mitoribosomes synthesize proteins involved in the oxidative phosphorylation, chlororibosomes produce components driving the photosynthetic reactions through pigment-protein units. To dissect the mechanism and dynamics of how the bioenergetic units that fuel life become to be, the lab members employ structural, functional and evolutionary analysis.

The lab has determined the molecular mechanisms of some of the most complex multi protein assemblies driving key bioenergetic processes, including chlororibosomes, mitoribosomes, photosystems and ATP synthases. The revealed activities and regulation illuminate how different cells obtain their energy and maintain the bioenergetic balance. From the evolutionary perspective, the achieved understanding of the architecture of these specialized systems provides now a framework to study the mechanisms underlying the development of bioenergetic membranes.

The research is supported by the ERC, Wallenberg Foundation, SSF Future Leaders, EMBO Young Investigators, Cancer Foundation Junior Investigator Award.

Group members

  • Rozbeh Baradaran, Researcher 
  • Yuzuru Itoh, Postdoc
  • Alexander Muhleip, Postdoc 
  • Andreas Naschberger, Postdoc
  • Ieva Berzina, Student
  • Vivek Singh, Student
  • Victor Tobiasson, Student
  • Fei Wu, Student

Work opportunities

Hire very smart people. Leave them alone, but with a tea room to talk. Support them so they have time & aren’t chasing money.”
– Max Perutz.

If you are interested working in such environment, please get in touch.

Annual lecture in structural biology

The lecture series is set up to contribute to the development of structural biology and careers of young scientists. Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz is the invited speaker for the upcoming event in 2021. For more information, please see the event website.


Last updated: 2023-02-17

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