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EMBO J. 1992 Dec;11(13):4787-94.

Role of ATP in the intramitochondrial sorting of cytochrome c1 and the adenine nucleotide translocator.

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Biocenter, Basel, Switzerland.


Import of precursor proteins across the mitochondrial inner membrane requires ATP in the matrix. However, some precursors can still cross the outer membrane in ATP-depleted mitochondria. Here we show that the adenine nucleotide translocator is imported normally into the inner membrane after the matrix has been depleted of ATP. This result supports the earlier suggestion that the translocator inserts into the inner membrane without passing through the matrix. Depletion of matrix ATP also has no detectable effect on the import and maturation of cytochrome c1, which is targeted to the intermembrane space. It thus seems probable that cytochrome c1 does not completely cross the inner membrane during its import pathway.

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