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Cell. 2000 May 12;101(4):401-12.

Tim23 links the inner and outer mitochondrial membranes.

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Institut für Physiologische Chemie der Universität München, Germany.


Tim23, a key component of the mitochondrial preprotein translocase, is anchored in the inner membrane by its C-terminal domain and exposes an intermediate domain in the intermembrane space that functions as a presequence receptor. We show that the N-terminal domain of Tim23 is exposed on the surface of the outer membrane. The two-membrane-spanning topology of Tim23 is a novel characteristic in membrane biology. By the simultaneous integration into two membranes, Tim23 forms contacts between the outer and inner mitochondrial membranes. Tethering the inner membrane translocase to the outer membrane facilitates the transfer of precursor proteins from the TOM complex to the TIM23 complex and increases the efficiency of protein import.

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