Versatility of the mitochondrial protein import machinery

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2001 May;2(5):339-49. doi: 10.1038/35073006.


The vast majority of mitochondrial proteins are synthesized in the cytosol and are imported into mitochondria by protein machineries located in the mitochondrial membranes. It has become clear that hydrophilic as well as hydrophobic preproteins use a common translocase in the outer mitochondrial membrane, but diverge to two distinct translocases in the inner membrane. The translocases are dynamic, high-molecular-weight complexes that have to provide specific means for the recognition of preproteins, channel formation and generation of import-driving forces.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport / physiology
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cytosol / metabolism*
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*


  • Carrier Proteins