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EMBO J. 1996 Nov 1;15(21):5796-803.

The nucleotide exchange factor MGE exerts a key function in the ATP-dependent cycle of mt-Hsp70-Tim44 interaction driving mitochondrial protein import.

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Institut für Physiologische Chemie, Universität München, Germany.


Import of preproteins into the mitochondrial matrix is driven by the ATP-dependent interaction of mt-Hsp70 with the peripheral inner membrane import protein Tim44 and the preprotein in transit. We show that Mge1p, a co-chaperone of mt-Hsp70, plays a key role in the ATP-dependent import reaction cycle in yeast. Our data suggest a cycle in which the mt-Hsp70-Tim44 complex forms with ATP: Mge1p promotes assembly of the complex in the presence of ATP. Hydrolysis of ATP by mt-Hsp70 occurs in complex with Tim44. Mge1p is then required for the dissociation of the ADP form of mt-Hsp70 from Tim44 after release of inorganic phosphate but before release of ADP. ATP hydrolysis and complex dissociation are accompanied by tight binding of mt-Hsp70 to the preprotein in transit. Subsequently, the release of mt-Hsp70 from the polypeptide chain is triggered by Mge1p which promotes release of ADP from mt-Hsp70. Rebinding of ATP to mt-Hsp70 completes the reaction cycle.

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