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

Role of the mitochondrial DnaJ homolog Mdj1p as a chaperone for mitochondrially synthesized and imported proteins.

Mdj1p, a DnaJ homolog in the mitochondria of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is involved in the folding of proteins in the mitochondrial matrix. In this capacity, Mdj1p cooperates with mitochondrial Hsp70 (mt-Hsp70). Here, we analyzed the role of Mdj1p as a chaperone for newly synthesized proteins encoded by mitochondrial DNA and for nucleus-encoded proteins as they enter the mitochondrial matrix. A series of conditional mutants of mdj1 was constructed. Mutations in the various functional domains led to a partial loss of Mdj1p function. The mutant Mdj1 proteins were defective in protecting the tester protein firefly luciferase against heat-induced aggregation in isolated mitochondria. The mitochondrially encoded var1 protein showed enhanced aggregation after synthesis in mdj1 mutant mitochondria. Mdj1p and mt-Hsp70 were found in a complex with nascent polypeptide chains on mitochondrial ribosomes. Mdj1p was not found to interact with translocation intermediates of imported proteins spanning the two membranes and exposing short segments into the matrix, in accordance with the lack of requirement of Mdj1p in the mt-Hsp70-mediated protein import into mitochondria. On the other hand, precursor proteins in transit which had further entered the matrix were found in a complex with Mdj1p. Our results suggest that Mdj1p together with mt-Hsp70 plays an important role as a chaperone for mitochondrially synthesized polypeptide chains emerging from the ribosome and for translocating proteins at a late import step.[1]


  1. Role of the mitochondrial DnaJ homolog Mdj1p as a chaperone for mitochondrially synthesized and imported proteins. Westermann, B., Gaume, B., Herrmann, J.M., Neupert, W., Schwarz, E. Mol. Cell. Biol. (1996) [Pubmed]
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