Tom22 is a multifunctional organizer of the mitochondrial preprotein translocase

Sandra Van Wilpe, Michael T. Ryan, Kerstin Hill, Ammy C. Maarse, Chris Meisinger, Jan Brix, Peter J.T. Dekker, Martin Moczko, Richard Wagner, Michiel Meijer, Bernard Gulard, Angelika Hönlinger, Nikolaus Pfanner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

231 Citations (Scopus)


Mitochondrial preproteins are imported by a multisubunit translocase of the outer membrane (TOM), including receptor proteins and a general import pore. The central receptor Tom22 binds preproteins through both its cytosolic domain and its intermembrane space domain and is stably associated with the channel protein Tom40 (refs 11-13). Here we report the unexpected observation that a yeast strain can survive without Tom22, although it is strongly reduced in growth and the import of mitochondrial proteins. Tom22 is a multifunctional protein that is required for the higher-level organization of the TOM machinery. In the absence of Tom22, the translocase dissociates into core complexes, representing the basic import units, but lacks a tight control of channel gating. The single membrane anchor of Tom22 is required for a stable interaction between the core complexes, whereas its cytosolic domain serves as docking point for the peripheral receptors Tom20 and Tom70. Thus a preprotein translocase can combine receptor functions with distinct organizing roles in a multidomain protein.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-489
Number of pages5
Issue number6752
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 1999
Externally publishedYes

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