Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
Am J Physiol. 1998 May;274(5 Pt 1):C1380-7.

Contractile activity-induced adaptations in the mitochondrial protein import system.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biology, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


We previously demonstrated that subsarcolemmal (SS) and intermyofibrillar (IMF) mitochondrial subfractions import proteins at different rates. This study was undertaken to investigate 1) whether protein import is altered by chronic contractile activity, which induces mitochondrial biogenesis, and 2) whether these two subfractions adapt similarly. Using electrical stimulation (10 Hz, 3 h/day for 7 and 14 days) to induce contractile activity, we observed that malate dehydrogenase import into the matrix of the SS and IMF mitochondia isolated from stimulated muscle was significantly increased by 1.4-to 1.7-fold, although the pattern of increase differed for each subfraction. This acceleration of import may be mitochondrial compartment specific, since the import of Bcl-2 into the outer membrane was not affected. Contractile activity also modified the mitochondrial content of proteins comprising the import machinery, as evident from increases in the levels of the intramitochondrial chaperone mtHSP70 as well as the outer membrane import receptor Tom20 in SS and IMF mitochondria. Addition of cytosol isolated from stimulated or control muscles to the import reaction resulted in similar twofold increases in the ability of mitochondria to import malate dehydrogenase, despite elevations in the concentration of mitochondrial import-stimulating factor within the cytosol of chronically stimulated muscle. These results suggest that chronic contractile activity modifies the extra- and intramitochondrial environments in a fashion that favors the acceleration of precursor protein import into the matrix of the organelle. This increase in protein import is likely an important adaptation in the overall process of mitochondrial biogenesis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk