The structural basis of the TIM10 chaperone assembly

Hui Lu, Alexander P Golovanov, Felicity Hazel Alcock, J Gunter Grossmann, Scott Allen, Lu-Yun Lian, Kostas Tokatlidis

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52 Citations (Scopus)


Tim9 and Tim10 are essential components of the small Tim family of proteins that facilitate insertion of polytopic proteins at the inner mitochondrial membrane. The small Tims are themselves imported from the cytosol and are organized in specific translocation assemblies in the intermembrane space. Their conformational properties and how these influence the mechanism of assembly remain poorly understood. Moreover, the three-dimensional structure of the TIM10 complex is unknown. We have characterized the structural properties of these proteins in their free and assembled states using NMR, circular dichroism, and small angle x-ray scattering. We show that the free proteins are largely unfolded in their reduced assembly-incompetent state and molten globules in their oxidized assembly-competent state. Tim10 appears less structured than Tim9 in their respective free oxidized forms and undergoes a larger structural change than Tim9 upon complexation. The NMR data here demonstrates unequivocally that only the oxidized states of the Tim9 and Tim10 proteins are capable of forming a complex. Zinc binding stabilizes the reduced state against proteolysis without significantly affecting the secondary structure. Solution x-ray scattering was used to obtain a molecular envelope for the subunits individually and for their fully functional TIM10 complex. Ab initio shape reconstructions based on the scattering data has allowed us to obtain the first low resolution three-dimensional structure of the TIM10 complex. This is a novel structure that displays extensive surface hydrophobicity. The structure also provides an explanation for the escorting function of this non-ATP-powered chaperone particle.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18959 - 18966
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

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