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Alexey AmuntsDocent

Om mig





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Mechanisms and Evolution of Bioenergetics

Our research group investigates the fundamental question of how proteins are synthesized, folded and assembled into functional multicomponent bioenergetic complexes that drive the cellular energy production.

Living cells ultimately depend on the conversion of energy derived from foodstuff and light into the chemical form of energy. This crucial bioenergetic step is performed in the membrane systems of mitochondria and chloroplasts. Each one of these organelle types has developed dedicated gene expression and assembly machineries that have diverged from the cytosolic counterparts. While mitoribosomes synthesize proteins involved in the oxidative phosphorylation, chlororibosomes produce components driving the pohotosynthetic reactions through pigment-protein units. To dissect the mechanism and dynamics of how the bioenergetic units that fuel life become to be, the lab members employ structural, functional and evolutionary analysis.

The lab has determined the molecular mechanisms of some of the most complex multi protein assemblies driving key bioenergetic processes, including chlororibosomes, mitoribosomes, photosystems and ATP synthases. The revealed activities and regulation illuminate how different cells obtain their energy and maintain the bioenergetic balance. From the evolutionary perspective, the achieved understanding of the architecture of these specialized systems provides now a framework to study the mechanisms underlying the development of bioenergetic membranes.

The research is supported by the ERC, Wallenberg Foundation, SSF Future Leaders, EMBO Young Investigators, Cancer Foundation Junior Investigator Award.


Group members

Yuzuru Itoh, Postdoc

Alexander Mühleip, Postdoc

Andreas Naschberger, Postdoc

Vivek Singh, PhD Student

Victor Tobiasson, PhD Student


Research Highlights

Mechanism of mitochondrial protein synthesis

Cryo-EM reveals unexpected diversity of photosystems

Structure and evolution of ATP synthase

The birth of the mitochondrial ribosome

SciLifeLab, Stockholm University and AstraZeneca use cryo-EM to advance biomedicine


Work Opportunities

"Hire very smart people. Leave them alone, but with a tea room to talk. Support them so they have time, & aren't chasing money." Max Perutz                           

If you are interested working in such environment, please feel free to get in touch.  



Our research group is at the Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab). SciLifeLab is a joint enterprise of Swedish universities that aims to provide frontline technologies for the academic community and develop cutting-edge research programs. Situated on the expanding Stockholm biomedical campus, SciLifeLab offers the opportunity to work in an internationally competitive and synergistic environment. The center combines technical expertise with advanced knowledge of molecular biology and translational medicine.

Address: Science for Life Laboratory, Tomtebodavägen 23A, 17165 Solna.



Mechanism of membrane-tethered mitochondrial protein synthesis.
Itoh Y, Andrell J, Choi A, Richter U, Maiti P, Best R, Barrientos A, Battersby B & Amunts A.
Science (2021).

Interconnected assembly factors regulate the biogenesis of mitoribosomal large subunit.
Tobiasson V, Gahura O, Aibara S, Baradaran R, Zíková A & Amunts A.
The EMBO J (2021).

ATP synthase hexamer assemblies shape cristae of Toxoplasma mitochondria.
Mühleip A, Flygaard RK, Ovciarikova J, Lacombe A, Fernandes P, Sheiner L & Amunts A.
Nature Comm (2021).

Type III ATP synthase is a symmetry-deviated dimer that induces membrane curvature through tetramerization.
Flygaard RK, Mühleip A, Tobiasson V & Amunts A.
Nature Comm (2020).

Analysis of translating mitoribosome reveals functional characteristics of translation in mitochondria of fungi.
Itoh Y, Naschberger A, Mortezaei N, Herrmann JM & Amunts A.
Nature Comm (2020).

Structural basis of mitochondrial translation.
Aibara S, Singh V, Modelska A & Amunts A.
eLife (2020).

Ciliate mitoribosome illuminates evolutionary steps of mitochondrial translation.
Tobiasson V & Amunts A.
eLife (2020).

Distinct structural modulation of photosystem I and lipid environment stabilizes its tetrameric assembly.
Chen M, Perez-Boerema A, Zhang L, Li Y, Yang M, Li S & Amunts A.
Nature Plants (2020).

Structure of a minimal photosystem I from the green alga Dunaliella salina.
Perez-Boerema A, Klaiman D, Caspy I, Netzer-El S, Amunts A & Nelson N.
Nature Plants (2020).

Distinct pre-initiation steps in human mitochondrial translation.
Khawaja A, Itoh Y, Remes C, Spåhr H, Yukhnovets O, Höfig H, Amunts A & Rorbach J.
Nature Comm (2020).