The University of Western Australia

UWA Staff Profile

Ipsum Lorem

Monika Murcha

Dr Monika Murcha

Future Fellow
Plant Energy Biology, ARC Centre of Excellence in

Contact details
Address
ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology
The University of Western Australia (M316)
35 Stirling Highway
CRAWLEY WA 6009
Australia
Phone
+61 8 6488 1749 (office) / +61 8 6488 8020 (lab)
Email
monika.murcha@uwa.edu.au
Personal homepage
www.murchalab.com
Location
Room 4.56, Bayliss Building, Perth campus
Qualifications
BSc PhD W.Aust.
Biography
Dr Murcha (PhD UWA) was awarded an ARC postdoctoral fellowship in 2006 at the University of Western Australia followed by an ARC Future Fellowship in 2014 where she founded her own laboratory to understand the components and underlying processes of plant mitochondrial biogenesis.
Key research
Mitochondrial biogenesis
Protein targeting
Arabidopsis
Publications

1: Opalińska M, Parys K, Murcha MW, Jańska H. The plant i-AAA protease controls
the turnover of an essential mitochondrial protein import component. J Cell Sci.
2017 Mar 6. pii: jcs.200733. doi: 10.1242/jcs.200733. [Epub ahead of print]
PubMed PMID: 28264925.


2: Teixeira PF, Kmiec B, Branca RM, Murcha MW, Byzia A, Ivanova A, Whelan J, Drag
M, Lehtiö J, Glaser E. A multi-step peptidolytic cascade for amino acid recovery
in chloroplasts. Nat Chem Biol. 2017 Jan;13(1):15-17. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.2227.
Epub 2016 Oct 31. PubMed PMID: 27820795.


3: Li L, Kubiszewski-Jakubiak S, Radomiljac J, Wang Y, Law SR, Keech O, Narsai R,
Berkowitz O, Duncan O, Murcha MW, Whelan J. Characterization of a novel β-barrel
protein (AtOM47) from the mitochondrial outer membrane of Arabidopsis thaliana. J
Exp Bot. 2016 Nov;67(21):6061-6075. Epub 2016 Oct 6. PubMed PMID: 27811077;
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5100019.


4: Lee CP, Maksaev G, Jensen GS, Murcha MW, Wilson ME, Fricker M, Hell R, Haswell
ES, Millar AH, Sweetlove LJ. MSL1 is a mechanosensitive ion channel that
dissipates mitochondrial membrane potential and maintains redox homeostasis in
mitochondria during abiotic stress. Plant J. 2016 Dec;88(5):809-825. doi:
10.1111/tpj.13301. Epub 2016 Nov 3. PubMed PMID: 27505616; PubMed Central PMCID:
PMC5195915.


5: Murcha MW, Kubiszewski-Jakubiak S, Teixeira PF, Gügel IL, Kmiec B, Narsai R,
Ivanova A, Megel C, Schock A, Kraus S, Berkowitz O, Glaser E, Philippar K,
Maréchal-Drouard L, Soll J, Whelan J. Plant-Specific Preprotein and Amino Acid
Transporter Proteins Are Required for tRNA Import into Mitochondria. Plant
Physiol. 2016 Dec;172(4):2471-2490. Epub 2016 Oct 27. PubMed PMID: 27789739;
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5129730.


6: Kmiec B, Teixeira PF, Murcha MW, Glaser E. Divergent evolution of the M3A
family of metallopeptidases in plants. Physiol Plant. 2016 Jul;157(3):380-8. doi:
10.1111/ppl.12457. Epub 2016 Jun 3. PubMed PMID: 27100569.


7: Wang Y, Lyu W, Berkowitz O, Radomiljac JD, Law SR, Murcha MW, Carrie C,
Teixeira PF, Kmiec B, Duncan O, Van Aken O, Narsai R, Glaser E, Huang S, Roessner
U, Millar AH, Whelan J. Inactivation of Mitochondrial Complex I Induces the
Expression of a Twin Cysteine Protein that Targets and Affects Cytosolic,
Chloroplastidic and Mitochondrial Function. Mol Plant. 2016 May 2;9(5):696-710.
doi: 10.1016/j.molp.2016.01.009. Epub 2016 Jan 29. PubMed PMID: 26829715.


8: Law YS, Zhang R, Guan X, Cheng S, Sun F, Duncan O, Murcha MW, Whelan J, Lim
BL. Phosphorylation and Dephosphorylation of the Presequence of Precursor
MULTIPLE ORGANELLAR RNA EDITING FACTOR3 during Import into Mitochondria from
Arabidopsis. Plant Physiol. 2015 Oct;169(2):1344-55. doi: 10.1104/pp.15.01115.
Epub 2015 Aug 24. PubMed PMID: 26304849; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4587475.


9: Duncan O, Carrie C, Wang Y, Murcha MW. In vitro and in vivo protein uptake
studies in plant mitochondria. Methods Mol Biol. 2015;1305:61-81. doi:
10.1007/978-1-4939-2639-8_5. PubMed PMID: 25910727.


10: Murcha MW, Whelan J. Isolation of Intact Mitochondria from the Model Plant
Species Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa. Methods Mol Biol. 2015;1305:1-12.
doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-2639-8_1. PubMed PMID: 25910723.


11: Murcha MW, Narsai R, Devenish J, Kubiszewski-Jakubiak S, Whelan J. MPIC: a
mitochondrial protein import components database for plant and non-plant species.
Plant Cell Physiol. 2015 Jan;56(1):e10. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pcu186. Epub 2014 Nov
29. PubMed PMID: 25435547.


12: Murcha MW, Kmiec B, Kubiszewski-Jakubiak S, Teixeira PF, Glaser E, Whelan J.
Protein import into plant mitochondria: signals, machinery, processing, and
regulation. J Exp Bot. 2014 Dec;65(22):6301-35. doi: 10.1093/jxb/eru399. Epub
2014 Oct 16. Review. PubMed PMID: 25324401.


13: Wang Y, Law SR, Ivanova A, van Aken O, Kubiszewski-Jakubiak S, Uggalla V, van
der Merwe M, Duncan O, Narsai R, Whelan J, Murcha MW. The mitochondrial protein
import component, TRANSLOCASE OF THE INNER MEMBRANE17-1, plays a role in defining
the timing of germination in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiol. 2014 Nov;166(3):1420-35.
doi: 10.1104/pp.114.245928. Epub 2014 Sep 24. PubMed PMID: 25253887; PubMed
Central PMCID: PMC4224734.


14: Zhang B, Van Aken O, Thatcher L, De Clercq I, Duncan O, Law SR, Murcha MW,
van der Merwe M, Seifi HS, Carrie C, Cazzonelli C, Radomiljac J, Höfte M, Singh
KB, Van Breusegem F, Whelan J. The mitochondrial outer membrane AAA ATPase AtOM66
affects cell death and pathogen resistance in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant J. 2014
Nov;80(4):709-27. doi: 10.1111/tpj.12665. PubMed PMID: 25227923.


15: Murcha MW, Kubiszewski-Jakubiak S, Wang Y, Whelan J. Evidence for
interactions between the mitochondrial import apparatus and respiratory chain
complexes via Tim21-like proteins in Arabidopsis. Front Plant Sci. 2014 Mar
11;5:82. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2014.00082. eCollection 2014. PubMed PMID: 24653731;
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3949100.


16: Murcha MW, Wang Y, Narsai R, Whelan J. The plant mitochondrial protein import
apparatus - the differences make it interesting. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014
Apr;1840(4):1233-45. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2013.09.026. Epub 2013 Sep 28. Review.
PubMed PMID: 24080405.


17: De Clercq I, Vermeirssen V, Van Aken O, Vandepoele K, Murcha MW, Law SR, Inzé
A, Ng S, Ivanova A, Rombaut D, van de Cotte B, Jaspers P, Van de Peer Y,
Kangasjärvi J, Whelan J, Van Breusegem F. The membrane-bound NAC transcription
factor ANAC013 functions in mitochondrial retrograde regulation of the oxidative
stress response in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell. 2013 Sep;25(9):3472-90. doi:
10.1105/tpc.113.117168. Epub 2013 Sep 17. PubMed PMID: 24045019; PubMed Central
PMCID: PMC3809544.


18: Kmiec B, Teixeira PF, Berntsson RP, Murcha MW, Branca RM, Radomiljac JD,
Regberg J, Svensson LM, Bakali A, Langel U, Lehtiö J, Whelan J, Stenmark P,
Glaser E. Organellar oligopeptidase (OOP) provides a complementary pathway for
targeting peptide degradation in mitochondria and chloroplasts. Proc Natl Acad
Sci U S A. 2013 Oct 1;110(40):E3761-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1307637110. Epub 2013
Sep 16. PubMed PMID: 24043784; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3791733.


19: Xu L, Law SR, Murcha MW, Whelan J, Carrie C. The dual targeting ability of
type II NAD(P)H dehydrogenases arose early in land plant evolution. BMC Plant
Biol. 2013 Jul 10;13:100. doi: 10.1186/1471-2229-13-100. PubMed PMID: 23841539;
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3716789.


20: Xu J, Yang J, Wu Z, Liu H, Huang F, Wu Y, Carrie C, Narsai R, Murcha M,
Whelan J, Wu P. Identification of a dual-targeted protein belonging to the
mitochondrial carrier family that is required for early leaf development in rice.
Plant Physiol. 2013 Apr;161(4):2036-48. doi: 10.1104/pp.112.210831. Epub 2013 Feb
14. PubMed PMID: 23411694; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3613474.


21: Xu L, Carrie C, Law SR, Murcha MW, Whelan J. Acquisition, conservation, and
loss of dual-targeted proteins in land plants. Plant Physiol. 2013
Feb;161(2):644-62. doi: 10.1104/pp.112.210997. Epub 2012 Dec 20. PubMed PMID:
23257241; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3561010.


22: Murcha MW, Wang Y, Whelan J. A molecular link between mitochondrial
preprotein transporters and respiratory chain complexes. Plant Signal Behav. 2012
Dec;7(12):1594-7. doi: 10.4161/psb.22250. Epub 2012 Oct 16. Review. PubMed PMID:
23073015; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3578899.


23: Zhang B, Carrie C, Ivanova A, Narsai R, Murcha MW, Duncan O, Wang Y, Law SR,
Albrecht V, Pogson B, Giraud E, Van Aken O, Whelan J. LETM proteins play a role
in the accumulation of mitochondrially encoded proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana
and AtLETM2 displays parent of origin effects. J Biol Chem. 2012 Dec
7;287(50):41757-73. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.383836. Epub 2012 Oct 5. PubMed PMID:
23043101; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3516725.


24: Carrie C, Murcha MW, Giraud E, Ng S, Zhang MF, Narsai R, Whelan J. How do
plants make mitochondria? Planta. 2013 Feb;237(2):429-39. doi:
10.1007/s00425-012-1762-3. Epub 2012 Sep 14. Review. PubMed PMID: 22976451.


25: Sun F, Carrie C, Law S, Murcha MW, Zhang R, Law YS, Suen PK, Whelan J, Lim
BL. AtPAP2 is a tail-anchored protein in the outer membrane of chloroplasts and
mitochondria. Plant Signal Behav. 2012 Aug;7(8):927-32. doi: 10.4161/psb.20769.
Epub 2012 Jul 25. PubMed PMID: 22751362; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3474687.


26: Wang Y, Carrie C, Giraud E, Elhafez D, Narsai R, Duncan O, Whelan J, Murcha
MW. Dual location of the mitochondrial preprotein transporters B14.7 and Tim23-2
in complex I and the TIM17:23 complex in Arabidopsis links mitochondrial activity
and biogenesis. Plant Cell. 2012 Jun;24(6):2675-95. doi: 10.1105/tpc.112.098731.
Epub 2012 Jun 22. PubMed PMID: 22730406; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3406907.


27: Roston RL, Gao J, Murcha MW, Whelan J, Benning C. TGD1, -2, and -3 proteins
involved in lipid trafficking form ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter with
multiple substrate-binding proteins. J Biol Chem. 2012 Jun 15;287(25):21406-15.
doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.370213. Epub 2012 Apr 27. PubMed PMID: 22544736; PubMed
Central PMCID: PMC3375562.


28: Duncan O, Murcha MW, Whelan J. Unique components of the plant mitochondrial
protein import apparatus. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013 Feb;1833(2):304-13. doi:
10.1016/j.bbamcr.2012.02.015. Epub 2012 Mar 1. Review. PubMed PMID: 22406071.


29: Kühn K, Carrie C, Giraud E, Wang Y, Meyer EH, Narsai R, des Francs-Small CC,
Zhang B, Murcha MW, Whelan J. The RCC1 family protein RUG3 is required for
splicing of nad2 and complex I biogenesis in mitochondria of Arabidopsis
thaliana. Plant J. 2011 Sep;67(6):1067-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2011.04658.x.
Epub 2011 Jul 6. PubMed PMID: 21623974.


30: Giraud E, Ng S, Carrie C, Duncan O, Low J, Lee CP, Van Aken O, Millar AH,
Murcha M, Whelan J. TCP transcription factors link the regulation of genes
encoding mitochondrial proteins with the circadian clock in Arabidopsis thaliana.
Plant Cell. 2010 Dec;22(12):3921-34. doi: 10.1105/tpc.110.074518. Epub 2010 Dec
23. PubMed PMID: 21183706; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3027163.


31: Carrie C, Murcha MW, Whelan J. An in silico analysis of the mitochondrial
protein import apparatus of plants. BMC Plant Biol. 2010 Nov 16;10:249. doi:
10.1186/1471-2229-10-249. PubMed PMID: 21078193; PubMed Central PMCID:
PMC3095331.


32: Carrie C, Giraud E, Duncan O, Xu L, Wang Y, Huang S, Clifton R, Murcha M,
Filipovska A, Rackham O, Vrielink A, Whelan J. Conserved and novel functions for
Arabidopsis thaliana MIA40 in assembly of proteins in mitochondria and
peroxisomes. J Biol Chem. 2010 Nov 12;285(46):36138-48. doi:
10.1074/jbc.M110.121202. Epub 2010 Sep 9. PubMed PMID: 20829360; PubMed Central
PMCID: PMC2975236.


33: Carrie C, Kühn K, Murcha MW, Duncan O, Small ID, O'Toole N, Whelan J.
Approaches to defining dual-targeted proteins in Arabidopsis. Plant J. 2009
Mar;57(6):1128-39. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2008.03745.x. Epub 2008 Dec 11.
PubMed PMID: 19036033.


34: Carrie C, Murcha MW, Kuehn K, Duncan O, Barthet M, Smith PM, Eubel H, Meyer
E, Day DA, Millar AH, Whelan J. Type II NAD(P)H dehydrogenases are targeted to
mitochondria and chloroplasts or peroxisomes in Arabidopsis thaliana. FEBS Lett.
2008 Sep 3;582(20):3073-9. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2008.07.061. Epub 2008 Aug 12.
PubMed PMID: 18703057.


35: Lister R, Carrie C, Duncan O, Ho LH, Howell KA, Murcha MW, Whelan J.
Functional definition of outer membrane proteins involved in preprotein import
into mitochondria. Plant Cell. 2007 Nov;19(11):3739-59. Epub 2007 Nov 2. PubMed
PMID: 17981999; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2174869.


36: Olejnik K, Murcha MW, Whelan J, Kraszewska E. Cloning and characterization of
AtNUDT13, a novel mitochondrial Arabidopsis thaliana Nudix hydrolase specific for
long-chain diadenosine polyphosphates. FEBS J. 2007 Sep;274(18):4877-85. PubMed
PMID: 17824959.


37: Howell KA, Cheng K, Murcha MW, Jenkin LE, Millar AH, Whelan J. Oxygen
initiation of respiration and mitochondrial biogenesis in rice. J Biol Chem. 2007
May 25;282(21):15619-31. Epub 2007 Mar 23. PubMed PMID: 17383966.


38: Prêle CM, Keith-Magee AL, Murcha M, Hart PH. Activated signal transducer and
activator of transcription-3 (STAT3) is a poor regulator of tumour necrosis
factor-alpha production by human monocytes. Clin Exp Immunol. 2007
Mar;147(3):564-72. PubMed PMID: 17302908; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1810496.


39: Carrie C, Murcha MW, Millar AH, Smith SM, Whelan J. Nine 3-ketoacyl-CoA
thiolases (KATs) and acetoacetyl-CoA thiolases (ACATs) encoded by five genes in
Arabidopsis thaliana are targeted either to peroxisomes or cytosol but not to
mitochondria. Plant Mol Biol. 2007 Jan;63(1):97-108. Epub 2006 Nov 21. PubMed
PMID: 17120136.


40: Murcha MW, Elhafez D, Lister R, Tonti-Filippini J, Baumgartner M, Philippar
K, Carrie C, Mokranjac D, Soll J, Whelan J. Characterization of the preprotein
and amino acid transporter gene family in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiol. 2007
Jan;143(1):199-212. Epub 2006 Nov 10. PubMed PMID: 17098851; PubMed Central
PMCID: PMC1761978.


41: Prêle CM, Keith-Magee AL, Yerkovich ST, Murcha M, Hart PH. Suppressor of
cytokine signalling-3 at pathological levels does not regulate lipopolysaccharide
or interleukin-10 control of tumour necrosis factor-alpha production by human
monocytes. Immunology. 2006 Sep;119(1):8-17. PubMed PMID: 16925527; PubMed
Central PMCID: PMC1782329.


42: Elhafez D, Murcha MW, Clifton R, Soole KL, Day DA, Whelan J. Characterization
of mitochondrial alternative NAD(P)H dehydrogenases in Arabidopsis:
intraorganelle location and expression. Plant Cell Physiol. 2006 Jan;47(1):43-54.
Epub 2005 Oct 28. PubMed PMID: 16258072.


43: Murcha MW, Rudhe C, Elhafez D, Adams KL, Daley DO, Whelan J. Adaptations
required for mitochondrial import following mitochondrial to nucleus gene
transfer of ribosomal protein S10. Plant Physiol. 2005 Aug;138(4):2134-44. Epub
2005 Jul 22. PubMed PMID: 16040655; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1183401.


44: Murcha MW, Millar AH, Whelan J. The N-terminal cleavable extension of plant
carrier proteins is responsible for efficient insertion into the inner
mitochondrial membrane. J Mol Biol. 2005 Aug 5;351(1):16-25. PubMed PMID:
15992825.


45: Murcha MW, Elhafez D, Millar AH, Whelan J. The C-terminal region of TIM17
links the outer and inner mitochondrial membranes in Arabidopsis and is essential
for protein import. J Biol Chem. 2005 Apr 22;280(16):16476-83. Epub 2005 Feb 18.
PubMed PMID: 15722347.


46: Murcha MW, Elhafez D, Millar AH, Whelan J. The N-terminal extension of plant
mitochondrial carrier proteins is removed by two-step processing: the first
cleavage is by the mitochondrial processing peptidase. J Mol Biol. 2004 Nov
19;344(2):443-54. PubMed PMID: 15522297.


47: Murcha MW, Lister R, Ho AY, Whelan J. Identification, expression, and import
of components 17 and 23 of the inner mitochondrial membrane translocase from
Arabidopsis. Plant Physiol. 2003 Apr;131(4):1737-47. PubMed PMID: 12692332;
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC166929.


48: Lister R, Murcha MW, Whelan J. The Mitochondrial Protein Import Machinery of
Plants (MPIMP) database. Nucleic Acids Res. 2003 Jan 1;31(1):325-7. PubMed PMID:
12520014; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC165502.


49: Tanudji M, Dessi P, Murcha M, Whelan J. Protein import into plant
mitochondria: precursor proteins differ in ATP and membrane potential
requirements. Plant Mol Biol. 2001 Feb;45(3):317-25. PubMed PMID: 11292077.


50: Murcha MW, Huang T, Whelan J. Import of precursor proteins into mitochondria
from soybean tissues during development. FEBS Lett. 1999 Dec 24;464(1-2):53-9.
PubMed PMID: 10611482.

Future research
Dr Murcha's research focus is to unravel the underlying mechanisms of protein import and macromolecule targeting, key regulatory elements governing mitochondrial activity and thus cellular activity, plant growth and responses to stress. Using a range of genetic, biochemical and molecular approaches the molecular mechanisms that regulate these processes are being investigated.
Funding received
2005: University of Western Australia Research Grants Scheme, $20,000.
Characterisation of novel protein transporters in Arabidopsis.
2008: ARC Postdoctoral Fellowship awarded for 4 years, this proposal was ranked A+, in the top third of all successful fellowships. Functional characterisation of novel transport proteins in plants
2010: University of Western Australia Research Development Award, $29,000. Characterisation of the role of a stress inducible transport protein in the mitochondrial inner membrane.
2013: STINT, Swedish Foundation for International Co-operation in Research and Higher Education, $240 000. Whelan J, Murcha M, Glaser E. Systems biology approaches to study intracellular protein transport and organellar biogenesis in plants.
2013: ARC Future Fellowship, $723,320. Characterisation of the Regulators of Mitochondrial Biogenesis in Arabidopsis thaliana
2015: Murcha, Soll and Drouard. ARC Discovery Project, $527,279 Modifying mitochondria: the targeting of macromolecules to alter mitochondrial function.
2015-2017: Murcha and Soll. DAAD/G08 Research Co-operation Scheme, $39,000. Characterisation of PRAT protein in mitochondria and chloroplast.

Honours and awards
2008. Australian Research Council Post-doctoral Fellowship
2014. Australian Research Council Future Fellowship
Teaching
BIOC5001Advanced Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Techniques, course co-ordinator and lecturer.
SCIE4001 The Objective and Application of Genomics, lecturer.
BIOC4001 Advanced Studies on Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, lecturer.
GENE5001Advanced Genomic Techniques, course co-ordinator.
BIOC3005 Cellular Biochemistry, lecturer.
Research profile
Research profile and publications
 

The University of Western Australia

This Page

Last updated:
Tuesday, 3 November, 2015 2:39 PM