Mitochondrial DNA replication dynamics
Mitochondria are the energy-producing organelle in animals, and mitochondrial function impacts nearly every aspect of cellular function, being critical for life. A full understanding of the mitochondrial function is in need of an in-depth characterization of the mechanochemical processes that govern the operation of the molecular motors involved in the replication of the mitochondrial DNA. In collaboration with the lab of Professor Laurie S. Kaguni (Michigan State University), we are combining biochemistry, molecular biology, and single molecule biophysics involving optical tweezers, to study the dynamical and mechanochemical principles responsible for the activity of the proteins involved in the replication of the human mitochondrial DNA. The long-term objective of our research is the elucidation of the mechanism of DNA replication in animal mitochondria, and its relationship to mitochondrial mutagenesis and human disease.
Check out our works about the binding modes of the mitochondrial SSB protein to ssDNA: