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Feldberg Prize Lecture: The mitochondrial machinery for transport and assembly of proteins

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Mitochondria are essential for cell viability. They function as powerhouses and play crucial roles in cellular metabolism and signaling. Mitochondria contain more than 1,000 different proteins. Most proteins are synthesized as precursors in the cytosol and are imported by the translocase of the outer mitochondrial membrane (TOM). Biogenesis and function of the TOM complex are regulated by cytosolic protein kinases. After passing through the TOM complex, the precursor proteins follow different intramitochondrial sorting pathways: (i) the presequence pathway to the matrix and inner membrane; (ii) the carrier pathway to the inner membrane; (iii) the MIA (mitochondrial intermembrane space assembly) pathway to the intermembrane space; and (iv) the beta-barrel pathway to the outer membrane via the SAM complex (sorting and assembly machinery). Additionally, (v) several alpha-helical outer membrane proteins bypass the TOM channel and use the Mim1 complex for insertion into the outer membrane. The protein translocases are coupled to machineries that maintain the shape of mitochondria. TOM and SAM of the outer membrane form contact sites with a large protein complex of the inner membrane that is required for maintenance of the characteristic shape of the inner membrane. The seminar will discuss the mechanisms of import of mitochondrial proteins and the integration of protein import into a network of machineries that control biogenesis and architecture of mitochondria.

This talk is part of the MRC LMB Seminar list series.

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