Papić et al. 194 (3): 397


The mitochondrial outer membrane (MOM) harbors several multispan proteins that execute various functions. Despite their importance, the mechanisms by which these proteins are recognized and inserted into the outer membrane remain largely unclear. In this paper, we address this issue using yeast mitochondria and the multispan protein Ugo1. Using a specific insertion assay and analysis by native gel electrophoresis, we show that the import receptor Tom70, but not its partner Tom20, is involved in the initial recognition of the Ugo1 precursor. Surprisingly, the import pore formed by the translocase of the outer membrane complex appears not to be required for the insertion process. Conversely, the multifunctional outer membrane protein mitochondrial import 1 (Mim1) plays a central role in mediating the insertion of Ugo1. Collectively, these results suggest that Ugo1 is inserted into the MOM by a novel pathway in which Tom70 and Mim1 contribute to the efficiency and selectivity of the process.

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