Mutations in the mitochondrial transacylase tafazzin, Taz1p, in Saccharomyces cerevisiae cause Barth syndrome, a disease of defective cardiolipin remodeling. Taz1p is an interfacial membrane protein that localizes to both the outer and inner membranes, lining the intermembrane space. Pathogenic point mutations in Taz1p that alter import and membrane insertion result in accumulation of monolysocardiolipin. In this study, we used yeast as a model to investigate the biogenesis of Taz1p. We show that to achieve this unique topology in mitochondria, Taz1p follows a novel import pathway in which it crosses the outer membrane via the translocase of the outer membrane and then uses the Tim9p-Tim10p complex of the intermembrane space to insert into the mitochondrial outer membrane. Taz1p is then transported to membranes of an intermediate density to reach a location in the inner membrane. Moreover, a pathogenic mutation within the membrane anchor (V224R) alters Taz1p import so that it bypasses the Tim9p-Tim10p complex and interacts with the translocase of the inner membrane, TIM23, to reach the matrix. Critical targeting information for Taz1p resides in the membrane anchor and flanking sequences, which are often mutated in Barth syndrome patients. These studies suggest that altering the mitochondrial import pathway of Taz1p may be important in understanding the molecular basis of Barth syndrome.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology