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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The cytosolic factor required for import of precursors of mitochondrial proteins into mitochondria.

The mechanism of import of proteins into mitochondria was studied by using the peptide of the presequence of ornithine aminotransferase (the extrapeptide), which was chemically synthesized and is composed of 34 amino acids. When the extrapeptide was incubated with isolated mitochondria in the presence of a rabbit reticulocyte lysate at 25 degrees C, it was imported into the mitochondrial matrix, and the import depended on the inner membrane potential, but not added ATP. The import of several precursors of mitochondrial proteins was competitively inhibited by the presence of excess extrapeptide in the reaction system, indicating that the extrapeptide and mitochondrial proteins were imported by the same machinery. Import of the extrapeptide was significantly stimulated by addition of a rabbit reticulocyte lysate, and a component of the lysate (the cytosolic factor) stimulating import of the extrapeptide was purified about 20,000 times by successive column chromatography on DEAE-cellulose and aminopentyl-Sepharose 4B. The binding of the extrapeptide to liposomes composed of egg lecithin and partially purified receptor of the precursor of mitochondrial protein (Ono, H., and Tuboi, S., (1985) Biochem. Int. 10, 351-357) required the cytosolic factor when the concentration of the peptide was less than 1.5 X 10(-8) M, suggesting that the physiological binding of the precursors of mitochondrial proteins to the receptor is dependent on the cytosolic factor. The extrapeptide and the cytosolic factor were shown to form a complex. From these results, the mechanism of binding of the extrapeptide to the receptor of the mitochondrial outer membrane is suggested to be as follows: the peptide (the precursor of mitochondrial protein) and the cytosolic factor form a complex, and then the complex is recognized by and bound to the receptor.[1]


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