Protein translocations across mitochondria membranes play critical roles in mitochondria biogenesis. The protein transports from the cell cytosol to the mitochondria matrix are carried out by the translocase of the outer membrane (TOM) complex and the translocase of the inner membrane (TIM) complex. The long-term goal of this proposal is to carry out X-ray crystal log rap hie studies on yeast TOM and TIM complexes to uncover the basic mechanisms by which these translocons facilitate the precursors across the outer and inner mitochondria membranes. In the TOM translocon, Tom70p functions as the receptor for mitochondria precursors with internal targeting signals. TimSOp, Tim21p and Tim44p are important members in TIM23 translocon. In the intermembrane space (IMS), TimSOp functions as the receptor for the precursor with the N-terminal mitochondrion targeting sequence. Tim21p can interact with TOM complex member Tom22p to facilitate the release of the precursor from the TOM translocon. Tim44p is a peripheral membrane protein and is stably associated with the mitochondria inner membrane at the matrix side. We have determined the crystal structure of yeast Tom/Op and Tim44p to 3.0A and 3.2A resolution, respectively. We have crystallized yeast TimSOp and Tim21p and the TimSOp crystals diffracted X-ray to 2.7A. By use of the combination of phage peptide display library screening and Isothermal Titration Calorimetry (ITC) technique, we have identified a peptide substrate for Tom70p. We have constituted the protein complex of Tom70p and its peptide substrate. We have also constituted the complex of TimSOp and the mitochondrion targeting peptide Cox4N. The protein complex of Tim21p and Tom22p C-terminal domain has been constituted for crystallization trials. We propose to determine the crystal structures of the Tom70p-peptide substrate complex. We intend to crystallize and determine the crystal structures of the TimSOp-targeting peptide complex and Tim21p-Tom22p protein complex. We also plan to solve the crystal structure of Tim44p and detergent FOS-CHOLINE complex/finally, we will conduct the structure-based mutagenesis studies to test our proposed models for TOM and TIM translocons. Both in vitro and in vivo assays will be utilized in the mutagenesis studies. Collectively, the aims of this proposal constitute the comprehensive studies that seek to understand the basic mechanisms via which the TOM and TIM complexes function in protein translocations from cell cytosol to mitochondrion.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
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Macromolecular Structure and Function B Study Section (MSFB)
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Ainsztein, Alexandra M
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University of Alabama Birmingham
Anatomy/Cell Biology
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Wang, Peng; Li, Jingzhi; Weaver, Clarissa et al. (2017) Crystal structures of Hsp104 N-terminal domains from Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans suggest the mechanism for the function of Hsp104 in dissolving prions. Acta Crystallogr D Struct Biol 73:365-372
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