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Biochem J. 1989 Jul 1;261(1):167-73.

The specific binding of the microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) to the outer membrane of rat brain mitochondria.

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Arrhenius Laboratory, Institute of Biochemistry, Stockholm University, Sweden.

Erratum in

  • Biochem J 1989 Sep 15;262(3):following 1002.


Purified mitochondria from rat brain contain microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) bound to the outer membrane. Studies of binding in vitro performed with microtubules and with purified microtubule proteins showed that mitochondria preferentially interact with the high-molecular-mass MAPs (and not with Tau protein). Incubation of intact mitochondria with Taxol-stabilized microtubules resulted in the selective trapping of both MAPs 1 and 2 on mitochondria, indicating that an interaction between the two organelles occurred through a site on the arm-like projection of MAPs. Two MAP-binding sites were located on intact mitochondria. The lower-affinity MAP2-binding site (Kd = 2 x 10(-7) M) was preserved and enriched in the outer-membrane fraction, whereas the higher-affinity site (Kd = 1 x 10(-9) M) was destroyed after removing the outer membrane with digitonin. Detergent fractionation of mitochondrial outer membranes saturated with MAP2 bound in vitro showed that MAPs are associated with membrane fragments which contain the pore-forming protein (porin). MAP2 also partially prevents the solubilization of porin from outer membrane, indicating a MAP-induced change in the membrane environment of porin. These observations demonstrate the presence of specific MAP-binding sites on the outer membrane, suggesting an association between porin and the membrane domain involved in the cross-linkage between microtubules and mitochondria.

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