The TIM23 mitochondrial protein import complex: function and dysfunction

Keren Demishtein-Zohary, Abdussalam Azem*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Mitochondria acquire the majority of their proteins from the cytosol in a process that is mediated by intricate multimeric machineries designed to allow proteins to cross and/or to insert themselves into the two mitochondrial membranes. Ongoing studies carried out in yeast over the past few decades have led to the discovery of numerous protein components that constitute several mitochondrial translocases. One of these complexes, the mitochondrial TIM23, is the major translocase for matrix proteins and is the focus of this review. The components of the TIM23 complex are categorized into four functional types. The first type plays the role of receptor for preproteins in the intermembrane space. The second type forms the actual channel that allows proteins to cross the inner mitochondrial membrane. The third species functions as part of the motor that mediates the final steps of import across the inner membrane. Additional components play regulatory roles orchestrating the action of this myriad of subunits. Recent studies provide new insights into the function of the mammalian TIM23 complex and the role that it plays under pathological conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-41
Number of pages9
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017


FundersFunder number
Deutsche ForschungsgemeinschaftSCHO 754/5-2
Israel Science FoundationISF-1507/13


    • Import motor
    • Mitochondrial protein import
    • Pam complex
    • TIM23 complex
    • TOM complex


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