Our group investigates natural engineering of biological energy conversion at molecular and submolecular levels. The systems that perform this function (such as photosynthetic or respiratory chains) are designed to couple electron transfer reactions with proton translocation across bioenergetic membrane to build up protonmotive force that powers cellular ATP synthesis. They are very complex and consist of several multi-subunit and multi-cofactor membranous proteins connected functionally by mobile electron/proton carriers.
Our interest in developing understanding of molecular basis of function and regulation of those system includes exploration of mechanisms of enzymatic catalysis, electron and proton transfers, and macromolecular association. We want to understand not only the mechanisms that promote the energy-conserving reactions but also how those reactions are separated from energy-wasting short-circuits or leaks of electrons that can lead to generation of reactive oxygen species.
Mitochondrial electron transport chain