What is it about?
What made this project complex is that it would never have gotten anywhere without using the latest and greatest technologies available. So the story of the project, that culminated in producing this publication, is a story about two research groups working together as a team. We are biologists studying the mysterious molecules that make living things have energy, and we worked with a Dutch group who are engineers developing detectors and algorithms to interpret studies like ours.
Photo by Lysander Yuen on Unsplash
Why is it important?
What made this project super is that it settled a longstanding debate. These molecular structures called "super-complexes" were theorized decades ago. While ideas and hypothetical implications have been excitedly discussed by big thinkers in the field, these elusive super-complexes were difficult to actually "see" in the lab, making it very hard to get any sort of real proof one way or the other. To continue research in the field, you could say that scientists were forced to philosophically assume that they either do or don't exist, and then go from there to study the finer details. This is very uncomfortable for a scientist, to base their life's work on a topic without firm ground to stand on - but it is such a fundamental, important, key topic in this case (how all of life gets energy!), that it was well worth the sacrifice. Instead, we attacked the Achilles Heel of the field, with every resource we could.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: The interactome of intact mitochondria by cross-linking mass spectrometry provides evidence for coexisting respiratory supercomplexes, Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, December 2017, American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (ASBMB), DOI: 10.1074/mcp.ra117.000470.
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