Neupert, Walter and Schatz, Gottfried
How proteins are transported into mitochondria.
In: Trends in Biochemical Sciences, Vol. 6: pp. 1-4
Most mitochondrial polypeptides are synthesized outside the organelle as precursors which are usually larger than the ‘mature’ polypeptides found within mitochondria. The precursors are imported into the mitochondria by a process which is independent of protein synthesis but dependent on high-energy phosphate bonds inside the mitochondria. This mechanism is basically different from that which governs the movement of secretory polypeptides across the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum.