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EMBO J. 2003 Feb 17;22(4):816-25.

Tim50, a novel component of the TIM23 preprotein translocase of mitochondria.

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  • 1Adolf-Butenandt-Institut, Lehrstuhl für Physiologische Chemie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Butenandtstrasse 5, D-81377 München, Germany.


The preprotein translocase of the inner membrane of mitochondria (TIM23 complex) is the main entry gate for proteins of the matrix and the inner membrane. We isolated the TIM23 complex of Neurospora crassa. Besides Tim23 and Tim17, it contained a novel component, referred to as Tim50. Tim50 spans the inner membrane with a single transmembrane segment and exposes a large hydrophilic domain in the intermembrane space. Tim50 is essential for viability of yeast. Mitochondria from cells depleted of Tim50 displayed strongly reduced import kinetics of preproteins using the TIM23 complex. Tim50 could be cross-linked to preproteins that were halted at the level of the translocase of the outer membrane (TOM complex) or spanning both TOM and TIM23 complexes. We suggest that Tim50 plays a crucial role in the transfer of preproteins from the TOM complex to the TIM23 complex through the intermembrane space.

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