Machinery for mitochondrial protein transport deciphered

Aug 15, 2023

Mitochondrial proteins have to transported into mitochondria, therefore they are equipped with a transport signal called presequence. TIM23 is crucial for the translocation of mitochondrial proteins, however, the precise mechanism of this process has been unclear.  A research team including SFB1381 PIs Nils Wiedemann, Carola Hunte and Hans-Georg Koch showed now that the TIM23 subunit Tim17 contains a negatively charged groove which helps to guide the mitochondrial presequences: as those are positively charged on the one side and contain lipohilic residues on the other side, the interaction with Tim17 as well as the mitochondrial membrane guides the translocation.

Please find more information in the press release of the University of Freiburg and the original publication in Nature.

Illustration: Laura Fielden