Mitochondria are involved in many essential cellular activities. These broad functions explicate the need for the well-orchestrated biogenesis of mitochondrial proteins to avoid death and pathological consequences, both in unicellular and more complex organisms. Yeast as a model organism has been pivotal in identifying components and mechanisms that drive the transport and sorting of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial proteins. The machinery components that are involved in the import of mitochondrial proteins are generally evolutionarily conserved within the eukaryotic kingdom. However, topological and functional differences have been observed. We review the similarities and differences in mitochondrial translocases from yeast to human. Additionally, we provide a systematic overview of the contribution of mitochondrial import machineries to human pathologies, including cancer, mitochondrial diseases, and neurodegeneration.