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Rowley, Nell and Prip-Buus, Carina and Westermann, Benedikt and Brown, Carol and Schwarz, Elisabeth and Barell, Bart and Neupert, Walter (1994): Mdj1p, a novel chaperone of the DnaJ family, is involved in mitochondrial biogenesis and protein folding. In: Cell, Vol. 77, No. 2: pp. 249-259




Mdj1p, a novel member of the DnaJ family, is a heat shock protein that is associated with the inner membrane of mitochondria of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Disruption of the MDJ1 gene resulted in a petite phenotype, loss of mitochondrial DNA, and inviability at 37°C. Import of precursor proteins was not affected by a lack of Mdj1p, but folding of newly imported proteins was markedly impaired. The efficiency of refolding of a tester protein, dihydrofolate reductase, was significantly reduced in mitochondria lacking Mdj1p after incubation at elevated temperature. We conclude that Mdj1p is an important mitochondrial chaperone that participates in the folding of newly imported proteins and in the protection of proteins against heat denaturation and aggregation.