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J Biol Chem. 2004 Sep 3;279(36):38047-54. Epub 2004 Jun 24.

The presequence translocase-associated protein import motor of mitochondria. Pam16 functions in an antagonistic manner to Pam18.

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Institut für Biochemie und Molekularbiologie, Universität Freiburg, D-79104 Freiburg, Germany.


Transport of preproteins into the mitochondrial matrix requires the presequence translocase of the inner membrane (TIM23 complex) and the presequence translocase-associated motor (PAM). The motor consists of five essential subunits, the mitochondrial heat shock protein 70 (mtHsp70) and four cochaperones, the nucleotide exchange-factor Mge1, the translocase-associated fulcrum Tim44, the J-protein Pam18, and Pam16. Pam16 forms a complex with Pam18 and displays similarity to J-proteins but lacks the canonical tripeptide motif His-Pro-Asp (HPD). We report that Pam16 does not function as a typical J-domain protein but, rather, antagonizes the function of Pam18. Pam16 specifically inhibits the Pam18-mediated stimulation of the ATPase activity of mtHsp70. The inclusion of the HPD motif in Pam16 does not confer the ability to stimulate mtHsp70 activity. Pam16-HPD fully substitutes for wild-type Pam16 in vitro and in vivo but is not able to replace Pam18. Pam16 represents a new type of cochaperone that controls the stimulatory effect of the J-protein Pam18 and regulates the interaction of mtHsp70 with precursor proteins during import into mitochondria.

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