Two intermembrane space TIM complexes interact with different domains of Tim23p during its import into mitochondria

Alison J. Davis, Naresh B. Sepuri, Jason Holder, Arthur E. Johnson, Robert E. Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Tim23p (translocase of the inner membrane) is an essential import component located in the mitochondrial inner membrane. To determine how the Tim23 protein itself is transported into mitochondria, we used chemical cross-linking to identify proteins adjacent to Tim23p during its biogenesis. In the absence of an inner membrane potential, Tim23p is translocated across the mitochondrial outer membrane, but not inserted into the inner membrane. At this intermediate stage, we find that Tim23p forms cross-linked products with two distinct protein complexes of the intermembrane space, Tim8p-Tim13p and Tim9p-Tim10p. Tim9p and Tim10p cross-link to the COOH-terminal domain of the Tim23 protein, which carries all of the targeting signals for Tim23p. Therefore, our results suggest that the Tim9p-Tim10p complex plays a key role in Tim23p import. In contrast, Tim8p and Tim13p cross-link to the hydrophilic NH2-terminal segment of Tim23p, which does not carry essential import information and, thus, the role of Tim8p-Tim13p is unclear. Tim23p contains two matrix-facing, positively charged loops that are essential for its insertion into the inner membrane. The positive charges are not required for interaction with the Tim9p-Tim10p complex, but are essential for cross-linking of Tim23p to components of the inner membrane insertion machinery, including Tim54p, Tim22p, and Tim12p.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1271-1282
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 18 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Cross-linking
  • Protein translocation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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