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Research Abstracts Online
January 2010 - March 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Science and Engineering
Department of Chemistry

PI: Edgar Arriaga

Giant Mitochondria in Aging

There is significant evidence linking mitochondria to biological aging, with a recent theory proposing that giant mitochondria are involved in the aging of post-mitotic tissues. The short-term goal of this project is to characterize and isolate giant mitochondria and establish whether or not these mitochondria affect muscle function. Initially, the researchers are isolating subpopulations of giant and normal mitochondria using free-flow electrophoresis and then characterizing these isolated mitochondria using methods suitable for isolated organelles. Once these organelles are characterized, they will use quantitative proteomic techniques to compare the proteomes of giant and normal mitochondria. Computational resources are used identify and validate the protein hits corresponding to each proteome and to quantitate their differences. The researchers put particular emphasis on the identification and post-translational modification of membrane proteins and their transmembrane domains, as they believe that this subset of proteins may be critical to the etiology of giant mitochondria. Lastly, selected proteins will be tested for biological relevance and function.

Group Members

Benjamin Fossen, Undergraduate Student
Vratislav Kostal, Research Associate
Amanda Mangan, Undergraduate Student
Ayoung Noh, Undergraduate Student
Amit Sawhney, Undergraduate Student
Mark Swift, Undergraduate Student
Gregory Wolken, Graduate Student