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Outer membrane proteins integrate mitochondria into the cellular environment. They warrant exchange of small molecules like metabolites and ions, transport proteins into mitochondria, form contact sites to other cellular organelles for lipid exchange, constitute a signaling platform for apoptosis and inflammation and mediate organelle fusion and fission. The outer membrane contains two types of integral membrane proteins. Proteins with a transmembrane β-barrel structure and proteins with a single or multiple α-helical membrane spans. All outer membrane proteins are produced on cytosolic ribosomes and imported into the target organelle. Precursors of β-barrel and α-helical proteins are transported into the outer membrane via distinct import routes. The translocase of the outer membrane (TOM complex) transports β-barrel precursors across the outer membrane and the sorting and assembly machinery (SAM complex) inserts them into the target membrane. The mitochondrial import (MIM) complex constitutes the major integration site for α-helical embedded proteins. The import of some MIM-substrates involves TOM receptors, while others are imported in a TOM-independent manner. Remarkably, TOM, SAM and MIM complexes dynamically interact to import a large set of different proteins and to coordinate their assembly into protein complexes. Thus, protein import into the mitochondrial outer membrane involves a dynamic platform of protein translocases. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Citation

Arushi Gupta, Thomas Becker. Mechanisms and pathways of mitochondrial outer membrane protein biogenesis. Biochimica et biophysica acta. Bioenergetics. 2021 Jan 01;1862(1):148323

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PMID: 33035511

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