Cluster of Excellence –
University of Freiburg

PD Dr. Thomas Becker

PD Dr. Thomas Becker

Institute for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
University of Freiburg

+49 761 203 5243

Mitochondria fulfil central roles for the viability of the eukaryotic cell. The vast majority of mitochondrial proteins are synthesized on cytosolic ribosomes and imported across two surrounding membranes into the organelle. Subsequent protein folding and quality control are crucial functions to maintain mitochondrial function. Whereas in the mitochondrial matrix and inner membrane several molecular players are described, we are at the beginning to understand the pathways and mechanisms that govern protein biogenesis and stability in the outer membrane. We will use a combination of in vivo, in organello and in vitro studies to analyse the protein homeostasis in the outer membrane of yeast mitochondria.

10 selected publications

  • Sam37 is crucial for formation of the mitochondrial TOM-SAM supercomplex, thereby promoting beta-barrel biogenesis.
    Wenz LS, Ellenrieder L, Qiu J, Bohnert M, Zufall N, van der Laan M, Pfanner N, Wiedemann N, Becker T (2015)
    J Cell Biol. 210, 1047-1054.
  • Phosphatidylcholine affects the role of the sorting and assembly machinery in the biogenesis of mitochondrial beta-barrel proteins.
    Schuler MH, Di Bartolomeo F, Böttinger L, Horvath SE, Wenz LS, Daum G, Becker T (2015)
    J Biol Chem. 290, 26523-26532.
  • The mitochondrial heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) and Hsp10 cooperate in the formation of Hsp60 complexes.
    Böttinger L, Oeljeklaus S, Guiard B, Rospert S, Warscheid B, Becker T (2015).
    J Biol Chem. 290, 11611-11622.
  • The presequence pathway is involved in protein sorting to the mitochondrial outer membrane.
    Wenz LS, Opalinski L, Schuler MH, Ellenrieder L, Ieva R, Böttinger L, Qiu J, van der Laan M, Wiedemann N, Guiard B, Pfanner N, Becker T (2014).
    EMBO Rep. doi10.1002/embr.201338144
  • A complex of Cox4 and mitochondrial Hsp70 plays an important role in the assembly of the cytochrome c oxidase.
    Böttinger L, Guiard B, Oeljeklaus S, Kulawiak B, Zufall N, Wiedemann N, Warscheid B, van der Laan M, Becker T (2013).
    Mol. Biol. Cell. 24, 2609-2619.
  • Coupling of mitochondrial import and export translocases by receptor-mediated supercomplex formation.
    Qiu J, Wenz LS, Zerbes RM, Oeljeklaus S, Bohnert M, Stroud DA, Wirth C, Ellenrieder L, Thornton N, Kutik S, Wiese S, Schulze-Specking A, Zufall N, Chacinska A, Guiard B, Hunte C, Warscheid B, van der Laan M, Pfanner N, Wiedemann N, Becker T (2013).
    Cell 154, 596-608.
  • Phosphatidylethanolamine and cardiolipin differently affect the stability of mitochondrial respiratory chain supercomplexes.
    Böttinger L, Horvath SE, Kleinschroth T, Hunte C, Daum G, Pfanner N, Becker T (2012).
    J. Mol. Biol. 423, 677-686.
  • The mitochondrial import protein Mim1 promotes biogenesis of multi-spanning outer membrane proteins.
    Becker T, Wenz LS, Krüger V, Lehmann W, Müller JM, Goroncy L, Zufall N, Lithgow T, Guiard B, Chacinska A, Wagner R, Meisinger C,  Pfanner N (2011).
    J Cell Biol 194, 387-395.
  • Common ground for protein translocation: access control for mitochondria and chloroplasts.
    Schleiff E, Becker T (2011).
    Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 12, 48-59.
  • Two modular forms of the mitochondrial sorting and assembly machinery are involved in biogenesis of alpha-helical outer membrane proteins.
    Thornton N, Stroud DA, Milenkovic D, Guiard B, Pfanner N, Becker T (2010).
    J Mol Biol 396, 540-549.