Maintenance of the mitochondrial proteome depends on import of newly made proteins from the cytosol. More than half of mitochondrial proteins are made as precursor proteins with N-terminal extensions called presequences and use the TIM23 complex for translocation into the matrix, the inner mitochondrial membrane and the intermembrane space (IMS). Tim50 is the central receptor of the complex that recognizes precursor proteins in the IMS. Additionally, Tim50 interacts with the IMS domain of the channel forming subunit, Tim23, an interaction that is essential for protein import across the mitochondrial inner membrane. In order to gain deeper insight into the molecular function of Tim50, we used random mutagenesis to determine residues that are important for its function. The temperature-sensitive mutants isolated were defective in import of TIM23-dependent precursor proteins. The residues mutated map to two distinct patches on the surface of Tim50. Notably, mutations in both patches impaired the interaction of Tim50 with Tim23. We propose that two regions of Tim50 play a role in its interaction with Tim23 and thereby affect the import function of the complex.
|State||Published - 1 Dec 2019|