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J Biol Chem. 2010 Dec 31;285(53):41222-31. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.163238. Epub 2010 Oct 29.

Tom7 regulates Mdm10-mediated assembly of the mitochondrial import channel protein Tom40.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8602, Japan.


β-barrel membrane proteins in the mitochondrial outer membrane use the TOM40 complex to enter mitochondria and then the TOB/SAM complex to be assembled into the outer membrane. Tom7, a subunit of the TOM40 complex, regulates association of Mdm10 with the TOB complex. Here, we analyzed the role of Tom7 in assembly of β-barrel proteins, including Tom40, a central channel subunit of the TOM40 complex, and porin. Depletion of Tom7 decreased transient accumulation of Tom40 at the level of the TOB complex and retarded assembly of porin in vitro. On the other hand, overexpression of Tom7 resulted in enhanced accumulation of in vitro imported Tom40 in the TOB complex, yet it did not affect the in vitro assembly of porin. Site-specific photocross-linking in vivo revealed that Tom7 directly interacts with Tom40 through its transmembrane segment and with Mdm10. These results collectively show that Tom7 recruits Mdm10, enhancing its association with the MMM1 complex, to regulate timing of the release of Tom40 from the TOB complex for subsequent assembly into the TOM40 complex.

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