Key Concepts Of Section 165

Sorting of Proteins to Mitochondria and Chloroplasts

■ Most mitochondrial and chloroplast proteins are encoded by nuclear genes, synthesized on cytosolic ribosomes, and imported post-translationally into the organelles.

■ All the information required to target a precursor protein from the cytosol to the mitochondrial matrix or chloroplast stroma is contained within its N-terminal uptake-targeting sequence. After protein import, the uptake-targeting sequence is removed by proteases within the matrix or stroma.

■ Cytosolic chaperones maintain the precursors of mito-chondrial and chloroplast proteins in an unfolded state. Only unfolded proteins can be imported into the organelles. Translocation occurs at sites where the outer and inner membranes of the organelles are close together.

■ Proteins destined to the mitochondrial matrix bind to receptors on the outer mitochondrial membrane, and then are transferred to the general import pore (Tom40) in the outer membrane. Translocation occurs concurrently through the outer and inner membranes, driven by the proton-motive force across the inner membrane and ATP hydrolysis by the Hsc70 ATPase in the matrix (see Figure 16-26).

■ Proteins sorted to mitochondrial destinations other than the matrix usually contain two or more targeting sequences, one of which may be an N-terminal matrixtargeting sequence (see Figure 16-28).

■ Some mitochondrial proteins destined for the intermembrane space or inner membrane are first imported into the matrix and then redirected; others never enter the matrix but go directly to their final location.

■ Protein import into the chloroplast stroma occurs through inner-membrane and outer-membrane translocation channels that are analogous in function to mitochon-drial channels but composed of proteins unrelated in sequence to the corresponding mitochondrial proteins.

■ Proteins destined for the thylakoid have secondary targeting sequences. After entry of these proteins into the stroma, cleavage of the stromal-targeting sequences reveals the thylakoid-targeting sequences.

■ The three known pathways for moving proteins from the chloroplast stroma to the thylakoid closely resemble translocation across the bacterial inner membrane (see Figure 16-31). One of these systems can translocate folded proteins.

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