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Pfanner, Nikolaus; Tropschug, Maximilian und Neupert, Walter (1987): Mitochondrial Protein Import. Nucleoside Triphosphates Are Involved in Conferring Import-Competence to Precursors. In: Cell, Vol. 49, Nr. 6: S. 815-823


The role of nucleoside triphosphates (NTPs) in mitochondrial protein import was investigated with the precursors of N. crassa ADP/ATP carrier, F1-ATPase subunit β, F0-ATPase subunit 9, and fusion proteins between subunit 9 and mouse dihydrofolate reductase. NTPs were necessary for the initial interaction of precursors with the mitochondria and for the completion of translocation of precursors from the mitochondrial surface into the mitochondria. Higher levels of NTPs were required for the latter reactions as compared with the early stages of import. Import of precursors having identical presequences but different mature protein parts required different levels of NTPs. The sensitivity of precursors in reticulocyte lysate to proteases was decreased by removal of NTPs and increased by their readdition. We suggest that the hydrolysis of NTPs is involved in modulating the folding state of precursors in the cytosol, thereby conferring import competence.