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FEBS Lett. 2008 Mar 19;582(6):855-60. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2008.02.009. Epub 2008 Feb 13.

The outer membrane form of the mitochondrial protein Mcr1 follows a TOM-independent membrane insertion pathway.

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  • 1Interfaculty Institute for Biochemistry, Hoppe-Seyler-Strasse 4, University of Tübingen, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.


The yeast gene MCR1 encodes two isoforms of the mitochondrial NADH-cytochrome b5 reductase. One form is embedded in the outer membrane whereas the other is located in the intermembrane space (IMS). In the present work we investigated the biogenesis of the outer membrane form. We demonstrate that while the IMS form crosses the outer membrane via the translocase of the outer mitochondrial membrane (TOM) complex, the other form is integrated into the outer membrane by a process that does not require any of the known import components at the outer membrane. Thus, the import pathways of the two forms diverge in a stage before the encounter with the TOM complex and their mechanism of biogenesis represents a unique example how to achieve dual localization within one organelle.

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