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Cytochrome c biogenesis in higher plant mitochondria


Abstract: The research program aims at studying a mechanism specific of land plant mitochondria: the biogenesis of c type cytochromes. This mechanism taking place in the mitochondria inter membrane space is performed by a multi-submits protein complex composed of subunits encoded in both the nuclear and the mitochondria genome. The first goal of the research will be to purify this complex and to characterise its subunits. This project also fits in the wider problematic of gene expression coordination between the nucleus and mitochondria. This study was initiated during the post-doctoral training course financed by a Marie Curie fellowship. The particular case of the cytochrome assembly complex and its relation with the rest of the plant cell will preferentially be used as a model during this study. The study of cytochrome c biogenesis is also very interesting in the context of the recent discovery of the involvement of cytochrome c in the triggering of programmed cell death (PCD). It is possible that this metabolism could act as a regulator in some PCD mechanisms involving cytochrome c. DNAmicroarray technology will be used to investigate the expression regulations of cytochrome c biogenesis genes and the relations of this mechanism with other mechanisms in the plant cell, particularly PCD. This research project, with its purpose of answering precise biological questions, will use biochemical’s well as genetic techniques. It will also allow the implementation and adaptation of advanced technologies in the laboratory of origin, in particular polemics and DNA micro arrays, to the research field of plant mitochondria.

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