Biogenesis pathways of α-helical mitochondrial outer membrane proteins

  • 1 Interfaculty Institute of Biochemistry, University of Tübingen, Hoppe-Seyler-Str. 4, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
Layla Drwesh
  • Interfaculty Institute of Biochemistry, University of Tübingen, Hoppe-Seyler-Str. 4, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
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and Doron RapaportORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3136-1207

Abstract

Mitochondria harbor in their outer membrane (OM) proteins of different topologies. These proteins are encoded by the nuclear DNA, translated on cytosolic ribosomes and inserted into their target organelle by sophisticated protein import machineries. Recently, considerable insights have been accumulated on the insertion pathways of proteins into the mitochondrial OM. In contrast, little is known regarding the early cytosolic stages of their biogenesis. It is generally presumed that chaperones associate with these proteins following their synthesis in the cytosol, thereby keeping them in an import-competent conformation and preventing their aggregation and/or mis-folding and degradation. In this review, we outline the current knowledge about the biogenesis of different mitochondrial OM proteins with various topologies, and highlight the recent findings regarding their import pathways starting from early cytosolic events until their recognition on the mitochondrial surface that lead to their final insertion into the mitochondrial OM.

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