Unlocking the potential of the mammalian electron transport chain

Dr Jessica SpinelliDr. Jessica Spinelli, from the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, USA will join us this year to present her most recent findings on "Unlocking the potential of the mammalian electron transport chain".

The continuous flow of electrons in the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) is required for an array of mammalian biosynthetic and bioenergetic pathways. Removal of electrons onto a terminal electron acceptor (TEA), which is known to be oxygen in mammalian cells, maintains continuous electron flow in the ETC. Paradoxically, in low oxygen environments, mammalian cells still catalyze reactions that necessitate electron flow in the ETC, suggesting the existence of alternative mechanisms to remove ETC electrons beyond oxygen reduction.

Here, Dr. Spinelli uncovers a secondary TEA that sustains electron flow in the mammalian ETC upon hypoxia exposure. In mice, the ability to use this adaptive electron removal pathway is tissue-specific and dependent on the presence of a previously uncharacterized mammalian metabolite.

Targeting Mitochondria 2022 Congress
October 26-28, 2022 - Berlin, Germany 

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