, Volume 56, Issue 9-10, pp 817-824

The preprotein translocase of the outer mitochondrial membrane: receptors and a general import pore

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Cytosol-synthesized preproteins destined for the mitochondria are transported across the outer membrane by the translocase of the mitochondrial outer membrane (TOM complex). This dynamic transport machinery can be divided into receptors that recognize preprotein targeting signals and components of the general import pore complex that mediate preprotein transport across the outer membrane. This review focuses on recent studies dealing with the central questions regarding the pore-forming subunits, and architecture and gating of the translocation channel of the outer membrane.

Received 15 July 1999; received after revision 16 August 1999; accepted 16 August 1999