Plant mitochondrial protein import: the ins and outs

Biochem J. 2018 Jul 17;475(13):2191-2208. doi: 10.1042/BCJ20170521.


The majority of the mitochondrial proteome, required to fulfil its diverse range of functions, is cytosolically synthesised and translocated via specialised machinery. The dedicated translocases, receptors, and associated proteins have been characterised in great detail in yeast over the last several decades, yet many of the mechanisms that regulate these processes in higher eukaryotes are still unknown. In this review, we highlight the current knowledge of mitochondrial protein import in plants. Despite the fact that the mechanisms of mitochondrial protein import have remained conserved across species, many unique features have arisen in plants to encompass the developmental, tissue-specific, and stress-responsive regulation in planta. An understanding of unique features and mechanisms in plants provides us with a unique insight into the regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis in higher eukaryotes.

Keywords: cellular targeting; mitochondria; protein import.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Mitochondrial Proteins / genetics
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Plants / genetics
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Protein Transport / physiology


  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Plant Proteins