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Neupert, Walter; Schatz, Gottfried (1981): How proteins are transported into mitochondria. In: Trends in Biochemical Sciences, Vol. 6: S. 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.