Protein import into mitochondria

Published on October 1, 2007 Reviewed on March 25, 2017   17 min

Other Talks in the Category: Biochemistry

Mitochondrial proteome has been calculated
around a thousand proteins in a standard humans. Mitochondria have four compartments, each with a distinct compliment of proteins. Around 500 different proteins are present in the matrix, including the TCA cycle enzymes and numerous factors that mediate transcription and replication of the mitochondrial DNA. The inner membrane also has a large number of distinct proteins, including those that function in electron transport. The outer membrane has a number of peripheral and integral membrane proteins, most notably the protein VDAC, an intermembrane space, again a number of different proteins, but most notably Cytochrome C that functions in the electron transport chain. 99 percent of these proteins are encoded for in the nucleus,
translated on ribosomes in the cytosol, and make their way to the mitochondria post-translationally. The import of these proteins is mediated by four molecular machines that are integrated into the outer membrane and the inner membrane. These machines are: the TOM complex, the TIM23 complex situated in the inner membrane, another complex in the inner membrane referred to as the TIM22 complex, and the SAM complex. This talk covers the targeting sequences
that can lead proteins to mitochondria and the four translocases in the outer and the inner mitochondrial membranes that mediate the correct sorting of these proteins into the appropriate sub-mitochondrial compartment. We'll then discuss whether the protein import pathway that we understand in yeast and in humans reflects the protein import pathway that's used by other eukaryotes.