Miłosz Wieczór, PhD co-authored an article in the "Science" magazine on new isoforms of MFN2 protein | Gdańsk University of Technology

Page content


Date added: 2023-08-16

Miłosz Wieczór, PhD co-authored an article in the "Science" magazine on new isoforms of MFN2 protein

Miłosz Wieczór
Miłosz Wieczór, PhD, Eng. from the Faculty of Chemistry is a co-author of an article on newly identified variants of mitofusin 2, a protein that takes part in metabolic processes occurring in the mitochondria of cells. It was presented in the American scientific magazine "Science". This is the second publication in this prestigious scientific journal with an affiliation of Gdańsk University of Technology this year.

The article entitled "Splice variants of mitofusin 2 shape the endoplasmic reticulum and tether it to mitochondria" was published in Science No. 380, in the Research Articles section. A total of twenty authors collaborated on it.

The insightful aspect of the publication concerns primarily the finding that newly identified isoforms (alternative variants) of the long-known MFN2 protein, mitofusin 2, are responsible for maintaining physical contact between the mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum. Mitochondria can be described as "cellular power plants" responsible primarily for the production of energy in the form of ATP. The endoplasmic reticulum is responsible for the production and transport of such cellular elements as lipids and proteins. The contact between them allows the regulation of important mitochondrial processes, from the transport of calcium and lipids to autophagy and mitochondrial division. Despite this, it has not yet been known exactly what molecular structures physically connect the two organelles.

As part of the project, a group of scientists from Padua and Barcelona determined that while the full-size MFN2 protein is anchored on the surface of the mitochondria, shorter variants of this protein, which have not been described so far, anchor in the endoplasmic reticulum, while significantly increasing the number of contacts between these organelles.

The role of Miłosz Wieczór, PhD in the research process was to propose and build a molecular model of such a connection based on available experimental data, as well as structures generated by the latest neural networks (AlphaFold2). The finished model, consisting of over a million atoms, was then simulated by the scientist on a supercomputer in order to confirm the stability of the structure prepared in this way.

main/Dział Promocji/Basia/Science Miłosz Wieczór /OKLADKA science MILOSZ.jpg

Miłosz Wieczór, PhD is an assistant professor at the Department of Physical Chemistry at the Faculty of Chemistry, where he graduated and in 2019 he obtained the title of doctor of technical sciences. In 2020, he was among the scholarship holders of the Foundation for Polish Science in the START program, which aims to support outstanding young scientists. As part of a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship, he worked at the Biomedical Research Institute in Barcelona on a research project on the relationship between DNA damage and modifications and broadly understood epigenetics, i.e. the way of interpreting genetic information in human cells.

He is the author or co-author of 23 publications, including in journals of the Philadelphia List (e.g. Nucleic Acids Research, Journal of the American Chemical Society). His current research interests include mechanisms of binding and sequence recognition in protein-DNA complexes, as well as the impact of DNA modifications (damages and epigenetic markers) on the biological function of nucleic acids.

About "Science"

‘Science’ is a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). It was founded in 1880 by inventor Thomas Edison and has been part of the AAAS since 1900. The most important research results from various fields of science are published here, and the articles are among the most cited ones in the world. The British weekly "Nature" has a similar rank and impact factor. The article co-authored by Miłosz Wieczór, PhD, Eng. is the second publication affiliated with Gdańsk University of Technology. The first article was also published in June this year, and its first author is Karolina Zielińska-Dąbkowska, PhD, Eng. from the Faculty of Architecture. In the 1980s, Science published an article co-authored by prof. Jan Pawlak (publication without Gdańsk Tech affiliation).