Pfanner, Nikolaus; Pfaller, Rupert; Neupert, Walter
How finicky is mitochondrial protein import?
In: Trends in Biochemical Sciences, Vol. 13, No. 5: pp. 165-167
Recently it was reported that artificial targeting signals or signals specific for organelles other than mitochondria could direct proteins into mitochondria. Here we discuss findings which suggest that specific steps of mitochondrial protein import can be bypassed. Non-specific targeting signals appear to use this bypass pathway. Such import occurs at very low rates under physiological conditions and therefore does not affect the uniqueness of mitochondrial protein composition.