Welcome to the Letts Lab! We study the structure, function and mechanism of membrane proteins that catalyze electron transport reactions and characterize their diverse roles in critical bioenergetic processes and beyond. Find out more about what we do on our Research page.
The respiratory complexes from the model ciliate Tetrahymena are quite different from those of other eukaryotes. Our structures reveal the diversity in the core metabolic pathway across the eukaryotic tree of life. Check out our recent paper in Science.
Mammalian mitochondrial complex I of the respiratory electron transport chain is made up of 45 different proteins. Only 14 of these proteins are conserved from bacteria. What are the 31 additional mammalian proteins doing? Check out our recent review on the Publications page to find out more!
Although they can make energy by photosynthesis respiration is also an essential process in plants! Not all plant cells, like the roots, shoots and fruits, are capable of photosynthesis and they need energy too! Also the mitochondrial electron transport chain can generate much needed heat to keep the plant warm. Although, mitochondrial respiration is essential in plants much less is known about it than in mammals and yeast. We use mung beans as a model to study plant mitochondrial complexes.