Projects & Grants

Functional exploration of a novel cellular system critical for understanding the origin and early evolution of the mitochondrion
Project Id22-29633S
Main solverprof. Mgr. Marek Eliáš, Ph.D.
Period1/2022 - 12/2024
ProviderStandardní grantový projekt GA AV
AnotationThe transformation of a bacterial endosymbiont into the mitochondrion, a crucial aspect of the evolution of the eukaryotic cell, remains incompletely understood, partly because it resulted in a drastic modification of the bacterial entity. We have recently discovered a novel, unsuspected feature of mitochondria in several protist lineages: a machinery derived from the bacterial type II secretion system (T2SS). Evidence indicates that this system, in bacteria mediating protein export to the environment, was part of the mitochondrial ancestor, raising the striking possibility that the mitochondrion ancestrally has a capability to secrete proteins into the cytoplasm. However, details of the organization and function of the mitochondrial T2SS (miT2SS) remain unknown, precluding full appreciation of the role miT2SS played in the origin of the mitochondrion. Here we set up a project to examine the architecture and function of the miT2SS system in the heterolobosean amoeba Naegleri gruberi, which should provide fundamental new insights into a truly novel aspect of mitochondrial biology.