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China Decodes 3D Structure of Mitochondrial Respiratory Membrane Protein

Cell magazine issued on July 1, 2005 publishes in 15 pages the achievement made by Chinese scientists on the three-dimensional structure of mitochondrial membrane protein.

It is the first time in 25 years for China's original achievement to have been reported on Cell, the world's top journal on life science. The publication signifies that China has joined the world's front-runners in the research on structural biology.

The finding was made by the joint research group for structural biology of Tsinghua University and the Institute of Biophysics (IBP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), which is headed by Rao Zihe, academician of the CAS, deputy director of IBP and deputy dean of School of Life Science and Medicine of Tsinghua University.

After three years' efforts, the researchers made the first decoding of the crystal structure of crystal structure of mitochondrial respiratory membrane protein complex II, a ground-breaking undertaking in the fields of mitochondrial structure and cell biology as a milestone in the research on mitochondrial respiration chain.

The decoding provides a practical model for studying difficult diseases related to mitochondrion.

Heretofore, only American and Japanese scientists have answered the questions of the crystal structure of mitochondrial respiratory membrane protein complex III and IV and those of the complex I and II has always been a mystery.

Peoples Daily

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