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Bacteria have mechanisms to export proteins for diverse purposes, including colonization of hosts and pathogenesis. A small number of archetypal bacterial secretion machines have been found in several groups of bacteria and mediate a fundamentally distinct secretion process. Perhaps erroneously, proteins called 'autotransporters' have long been thought to(More)
BACKGROUND Mitochondria evolved from intracellular bacterial symbionts. Establishing mitochondria as organelles required a molecular machine to import proteins across the mitochondrial outer membrane. This machinery, the TOM complex, is composed of at least seven component parts, and its creation and evolution represented a sizeable challenge. Although(More)
Mitochondria cannot be made de novo. Mitochondrial biogenesis requires that up to 1000 proteins are imported into mitochondria, and the protein import pathway relies on hetero-oligomeric translocase complexes in both the inner and outer mitochondrial membranes. The translocase in the outer membrane, the TOM complex, is composed of a core complex formed from(More)
Mitochondria are found in all eukaryotic cells and derive from a bacterial endosymbiont [1, 2]. The evolution of a protein import system was a prerequisite for the conversion of the endosymbiont into a true organelle. Tom40, the essential component of the protein translocase of the outer membrane, is conserved in mitochondria of almost all eukaryotes but(More)
Molecular machines drive essential biological processes, with the component parts of these machines each contributing a partial function or structural element. Mitochondria are organelles of eukaryotic cells, and depend for their biogenesis on a set of molecular machines for protein transport. How these molecular machines evolved is a fundamental question.(More)
The Tom20 and Tom22 receptor subunits of the TOM (translocase of the outer mitochondrial membrane) complex recognize N-terminal presequences of proteins that are to be imported into the mitochondrion. In plants, Tom20 is C-terminally anchored in the mitochondrial membrane, whereas Tom20 is N-terminally anchored in animals and fungi. Furthermore, the(More)
The ability to catalytically cleave protein substrates after synthesis is fundamental for all forms of life. Accordingly, site-specific proteolysis is one of the most important post-translational modifications. The key to understanding the physiological role of a protease is to identify its natural substrate(s). Knowledge of the substrate specificity of a(More)
The assembly of beta-barrel proteins into membranes is a fundamental process that is essential in Gram-negative bacteria, mitochondria and plastids. Our understanding of the mechanism of beta-barrel assembly is progressing from studies carried out in Escherichia coli and Neisseria meningitidis. Comparative sequence analysis suggests that while many(More)
The mitochondrial inner and outer membranes are composed of a variety of integral membrane proteins, assembled into the membranes posttranslationally. The small translocase of the inner mitochondrial membranes (TIMs) are a group of approximately 10 kDa proteins that function as chaperones to ferry the imported proteins across the mitochondrial intermembrane(More)
Tom20 is the master receptor for protein import into mitochondria. Analysis of motifs present in Tom20 sequences from fungi and animals found several highly conserved regions, including features of the transmembrane segment, the ligand-binding domain and functionally important flexible segments at the N terminus and the C terminus of the protein. Hidden(More)