The presequences of two imported mitochondrial proteins contain information for intracellular and intramitochondrial sorting

Cell. 1986 Mar 14;44(5):801-12. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(86)90846-9.


Gene fusion experiments were used to identify signals that direct imported precursor proteins to specific intramitochondrial locations in yeast. The amino terminus of alcohol dehydrogenase III (ADHIII, a mitochondrial matrix enzyme) transported attached mouse dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR, a cytosolic enzyme) into the mitochondrial matrix. The presequence of cytochrome c1 (a mitochondrial inner membrane protein protruding into the intermembrane space) transported attached DHFR into the intermembrane space. The first half of the cytochrome c1 presequence, which resembles the ADHIII presequence, is a matrix-targeting sequence: it transported attached DHFR into the matrix. The second half of the cytochrome c1 presequence contains a stretch of 19 uncharged amino acids and may thus be a stop-transfer sequence. We conclude that intramitochondrial sorting involves matrix-targeting and stop-transfer sequences within the cleavable presequence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase
  • Alcohol Oxidoreductases / genetics
  • Alcohol Oxidoreductases / metabolism*
  • Biological Transport, Active
  • Cell Compartmentation
  • Cytochrome c Group / analogs & derivatives*
  • Cytochromes c1 / genetics
  • Cytochromes c1 / metabolism*
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Mitochondria / ultrastructure
  • Protein Precursors / metabolism*
  • Protein Sorting Signals / physiology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Tetrahydrofolate Dehydrogenase / genetics
  • Tetrahydrofolate Dehydrogenase / metabolism*


  • Cytochrome c Group
  • Protein Precursors
  • Protein Sorting Signals
  • Cytochromes c1
  • Alcohol Oxidoreductases
  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase
  • Tetrahydrofolate Dehydrogenase