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Wagner, Ingrid and Arlt, Heike and Dyck, Luc van and Langer, Thomas and Neupert, Walter (1994): Molecular chaperones cooperate with PIM1 protease in the degradation of misfolded proteins in mitochondria. In: The EMBO Journal Online, Vol. 13, No. 21: pp. 5135-5145
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Abstract

ATP dependent proteolytic degradation of misfolded proteins in the mitochondrial matrix is mediated by the PIM1 protease and depends on the molecular chaperone proteins mt-hsp70 and Mdj1p. Chaperone function is essential to maintain misfolded proteins in a soluble state, a prerequisite for their degradation by PIM1 protease. In the absence of functional mt-hsp70 or Mdj1p misfolded proteins either remain associated with mt-hsp70 or form aggregates and thereby are no longer substrates for PIM1 protease. Mdj1p is shown to regulate the ATP dependent association of an unfolded polypeptide chain with mt-hsp70 affecting binding to as well as release from mt-hsp70. These findings establish a central role of molecular chaperone proteins in the degradation of misfolded proteins by PIM1 protease and thereby demonstrate a functional interrelation between components of the folding machinery and the proteolytic system within mitochondria.