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author:("Tamura, sushi")
1.  Effects of Fcj1-Mos1 and mitochondrial division on aggregation of mitochondrial DNA nucleoids and organelle morphology 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2013;24(12):1842-1851.
Mitochondrial DNA nucleoids are distributed as many discrete foci in mitochondria. Nucleoid distribution is controlled by mitochondrial division and Fcj1 and Mos1, two evolutionarily conserved, mitochondrial proteins that maintain cristae junctions and tubular organelle morphology.
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is packaged into DNA–protein complexes called nucleoids, which are distributed as many small foci in mitochondria. Nucleoids are crucial for the biogenesis and function of mtDNA. Here, using a yeast genetic screen for components that control nucleoid distribution and size, we identify Fcj1 and Mos1, two evolutionarily conserved mitochondrial proteins that maintain the connection between the cristae and boundary membranes. These two proteins are also important for establishing tubular morphology of mitochondria, as mitochondria lacking Fcj1 and Mos1 form lamellar sheets. We find that nucleoids aggregate, increase in size, and decrease in number in fcj1∆ and mos1∆ cells. In addition, Fcj1 form punctate structures and localized adjacent to nucleoids. Moreover, connecting mitochondria by deleting the DNM1 gene required for organelle division enhances aggregation of mtDNA nucleoids in fcj1∆ and mos1∆ cells, whereas single deletion of DNM1 does not affect nucleoids. Conversely, deleting F1Fo-ATP synthase dimerization factors generates concentric ring-like cristae, restores tubular mitochondrial morphology, and suppresses nucleoid aggregation in these mutants. Our findings suggest an unexpected role of Fcj1-Mos1 and organelle division in maintaining the distribution and size of mtDNA nucleoids.
doi:10.1091/mbc.E13-03-0125
PMCID: PMC3681690  PMID: 23615445
2.  Active treatments are a rational approach for hepatocellular carcinoma in elderly patients 
AIM: To determine whether an active intervention is beneficial for the survival of elderly patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
METHODS: The survival of 740 patients who received various treatments for HCC between 1983 and 2011 was compared among different age groups using Cox regression analysis. Therapeutic options were principally selected according to the clinical practice guidelines for HCC from the Japanese Society of Hepatology. The treatment most likely to achieve regional control capability was chosen, as far as possible, in the following order: resection, radiofrequency ablation, percutaneous ethanol injection, transcatheter arterial chemoembolization, transarterial oily chemoembolization, hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy, systemic chemotherapy including molecular targeting, or best supportive care. Each treatment was used alone, or in combination, with a clinical goal of striking the best balance between functional hepatic reserve and the volume of the targeted area, irrespective of their age. The percent survival to life expectancy was calculated based on a Japanese national population survey.
RESULTS: The median ages of the subjects during each 5-year period from 1986 were 61, 64, 67, 68 and 71 years and increased significantly with time (P < 0.0001). The Child-Pugh score was comparable among younger (59 years of age or younger), middle-aged (60-79 years of age), and older (80 years of age or older) groups (P = 0.34), whereas the tumor-node-metastasis stage tended to be more advanced in the younger group (P = 0.060). Advanced disease was significantly more frequent in the younger group compared with the middle-aged group (P = 0.010), whereas there was no difference between the middle-aged and elderly groups (P = 0.75). The median survival times were 2593, 2011, 1643, 1278 and 1195 d for 49 years of age or younger, 50-59 years of age, 60-69 years of age, 70-79 years of age, or 80 years of age or older age groups, respectively, whereas the median percent survival to life expectancy were 13.9%, 21.9%, 24.7%, 25.7% and 37.6% for each group, respectively. The impact of age on actual survival time was significant (P = 0.020) with a hazard ratio of 1.021, suggesting that a 10-year-older patient has a 1.23-fold higher risk for death, and the overall survival was the worst in the oldest group. On the other hand, when the survival benefit was evaluated on the basis of percent survival to life expectancy, age was again found to be a significant explanatory factor (P = 0.022); however, the oldest group showed the best survival among the five different age groups. The youngest group revealed the worst outcomes in this analysis, and the hazard ratio of the oldest against the youngest was 0.35 for death. The survival trends did not differ substantially between the survival time and percent survival to life expectancy, when survival was compared overall or among various therapeutic interventions.
CONCLUSION: These results suggest that a therapeutic approach for HCC should not be restricted due to patient age.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v19.i24.3831
PMCID: PMC3699049  PMID: 23840122
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Population aging; Survival; Life expectancy; Active intervention
4.  Tam41 is a CDP-diacylglycerol synthase required for cardiolipin biosynthesis in mitochondria 
Cell metabolism  2013;17(5):709-718.
SUMMARY
CDP-diacylglycerol (CDP-DAG) is central of the phospholipid biosynthesis pathways in cells. A prevailing view is that only one CDP-DAG synthase named Cds1 is present in both the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondrial inner membrane (IM), and mediates generation of CDP-DAG from phosphatidic acid (PA) and CTP. However, we demonstrate here by using yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model organism that Cds1 resides in the ER but not in mitochondria, and that Tam41, a highly conserved mitochondrial maintenance protein, directly catalyzes the formation of CDP-DAG from PA in the mitochondrial IM. We also find that inositol depletion by overexpressing an arrestin-related protein Art5 partially restores the defects of cell growth and CL synthesis in the absence of Tam41. The present findings unveil the missing step of the cardiolipin synthesis pathway in mitochondria as well as the flexibile regulation of phospholipid biosynthesis to respond to compromised CDP-DAG synthesis in mitochondria.
doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2013.03.018
PMCID: PMC3654088  PMID: 23623749
5.  A safe and effective dose of cisplatin in hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy for hepatocellular carcinoma 
Cancer Medicine  2013;2(1):86-98.
Cisplatin (CDDP) is an anticancer agent that is commonly used in hepatic arterial infusion (HAI) chemotherapy for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This study aimed to clarify the safe and effective dose of CDDP in HAI for HCC. The hypervascular area was measured in 42 HCCs before and after HAI with CDDP. Serum platinum concentration was quantified in the peripheral and/or middle hepatic veins by atomic absorption spectrometry. The relation between the HCC response and CDDP dose was statistically analyzed. The multiple HCC nodules in an individual case generally demonstrated the same response to CDDP. The free-platinum concentration stayed relatively constant in the hepatic vein during HAI followed by a rapid decline, while total-platinum gradually increased then slowly disappeared over several days. After CDDP-HAI, 15 HCCs shrunk and 27 HCCs grew. The reduction rate in the shrunken nodules was tended to be correlated with CDDP dose after standardization with the target liver volume. On the other hand, the growth rate of the enlarged HCCs was significantly correlated with CDDP dose after normalization with creatinine clearance. These data support a recommendation of CDDP-HAI infusion where the amount of CDDP (mg) administered is less than patient creatinine clearance (mL/min/1.73 m2) upon an assumption of HCC doubling time of 90 days, and the targeted liver is smaller than 200 times the CDDP dose (mg). A further analysis is required to define appropriate injection speeds.
doi:10.1002/cam4.55
PMCID: PMC3797567  PMID: 24133631
Cisplatin; dose recommendation; hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy; hepatocellular carcinoma
6.  The Tom40 assembly process probed using the attachment of different intramitochondrial sorting signals 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2012;23(20):3936-3947.
The β-barrel protein Tom40 functions as a protein-conducting channel in the mitochondrial outer membrane. By attaching mitochondrial presequences for various mitochondrial destinations to Tom40, it is possible to follow its sorting process. The results provide insight into the mechanism for the precise delivery of β-barrel proteins to the outer membrane.
The TOM40 complex is a protein translocator in the mitochondrial outer membrane and consists of several different subunits. Among them, Tom40 is a central subunit that constitutes a protein-conducting channel by forming a β-barrel structure. To probe the nature of the assembly process of Tom40 in the outer membrane, we attached various mitochondrial presequences to Tom40 that possess sorting information for the intermembrane space (IMS), inner membrane, and matrix and would compete with the inherent Tom40 assembly process. We analyzed the mitochondrial import of those fusion proteins in vitro. Tom40 crossed the outer membrane and/or inner membrane even in the presence of various sorting signals. N-terminal anchorage of the attached presequence to the inner membrane did not prevent Tom40 from associating with the TOB/SAM complex, although it impaired its efficient release from the TOB complex in vitro but not in vivo. The IMS or matrix-targeting presequence attached to Tom40 was effective in substituting for the requirement for small Tim proteins in the IMS for the translocation of Tom40 across the outer membrane. These results provide insight into the mechanism responsible for the precise delivery of β-barrel proteins to the outer mitochondrial membrane.
doi:10.1091/mbc.E12-03-0202
PMCID: PMC3469510  PMID: 22933571
7.  SnapShot: Mitochondrial Dynamics 
Cell  2011;145(7):1158-1158.e1.
doi:10.1016/j.cell.2011.06.018
PMCID: PMC3518382  PMID: 21703455
8.  Phase I study of miriplatin combined with transarterial chemotherapy using CDDP powder in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma 
BMC Gastroenterology  2012;12:127.
Background
There is no standard therapeutic procedure for the hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with poor hepatic reserve function. With the approval of newly developed chemotherapeutic agent of miriplatin, we have firstly conducted the phase I study of CDDP powder (DDP-H) and miriplatin combination therapy and reported its safety and efficacy for treating unresectable HCC in such cases. To determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) for the combination of transarterial oily chemoembolization (TOCE) and transarterial chemotherapy (TAC) using miriplatin and DDP-H for treating unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Methods
Transarterial chemotherapy using DDP-H was performed through the proper hepatic artery targeting the HCC nodules by increasing the dose of DDP-H (35–65 mg/m2) followed by targeting the HCC nodules by transarterial oily chemoembolization with miriplatin.
Results
A total of nine patients were enrolled in this study and no DLT was observed with any dose of DDP-H in all cases in whom 80 mg (median, 18–120) miriplatin was administered. An anti-tumour efficacy rating for partial response was obtained in one patient, while a total of four patients (among eight evaluated) showed stable disease response, leading to 62.5% of disease control rate. The pharmacokinetic results showed no further increase in plasma platinum concentration following miriplatin administration.
Conclusion
Our results suggest that a combination of DDP-H and miriplatin can be safely administered up to their respective MTD for treating HCC.
Trial registration
This study was registered with the University Hospital Medical Information Network Clinical Trials Registry (UMIN-CTR000003541).
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-12-127
PMCID: PMC3482551  PMID: 22994941
Miriplatin; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Cisplatin powder; Phase I clinical trial
9.  Identification of cellular genes showing differential expression associated with hepatitis B virus infection 
World Journal of Hepatology  2012;4(4):139-148.
AIM: To investigate the impact of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection on cellular gene expression, by conducting both in vitro and in vivo studies.
METHODS: Knockdown of HBV was targeted by stable expression of short hairpin RNA (shRNA) in huH-1 cells. Cellular gene expression was compared using a human 30K cDNA microarray in the cells and quantified by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) (qRT-PCR) in the cells, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and surrounding non-cancerous liver tissues (SL).
RESULTS: The expressions of HBsAg and HBx protein were markedly suppressed in the cells and in HBx transgenic mouse liver, respectively, after introduction of shRNA. Of the 30K genes studied, 135 and 103 genes were identified as being down- and up-regulated, respectively, by at least twofold in the knockdown cells. Functional annotation revealed that 85 and 62 genes were classified into four up-regulated and five down-regulated functional categories, respectively. When gene expression levels were compared between HCC and SL, eight candidate genes that were confirmed to be up- or down-regulated in the knockdown cells by both microarray and qRT-PCR analyses were not expressed as expected from HBV reduction in HCC, but had similar expression patterns in HBV- and hepatitis C virus-associated cases. In contrast, among the eight genes, only APM2 was constantly repressed in HBV non-associated tissues irrespective of HCC or SL.
CONCLUSION: The signature of cellular gene expression should provide new information regarding the pathophysiological mechanisms of persistent hepatitis and hepatocarcinogenesis that are associated with HBV infection.
doi:10.4254/wjh.v4.i4.139
PMCID: PMC3345538  PMID: 22567186
Hepatitis B virus; Differential gene expression; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Gene expression signature; Adipose most abundant 2
10.  Defects in Mitochondrial Dynamics and Metabolomic Signatures of Evolving Energetic Stress in Mouse Models of Familial Alzheimer's Disease 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e32737.
Background
The identification of early mechanisms underlying Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and associated biomarkers could advance development of new therapies and improve monitoring and predicting of AD progression. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been suggested to underlie AD pathophysiology, however, no comprehensive study exists that evaluates the effect of different familial AD (FAD) mutations on mitochondrial function, dynamics, and brain energetics.
Methods and Findings
We characterized early mitochondrial dysfunction and metabolomic signatures of energetic stress in three commonly used transgenic mouse models of FAD. Assessment of mitochondrial motility, distribution, dynamics, morphology, and metabolomic profiling revealed the specific effect of each FAD mutation on the development of mitochondrial stress and dysfunction. Inhibition of mitochondrial trafficking was characteristic for embryonic neurons from mice expressing mutant human presenilin 1, PS1(M146L) and the double mutation of human amyloid precursor protein APP(Tg2576) and PS1(M146L) contributing to the increased susceptibility of neurons to excitotoxic cell death. Significant changes in mitochondrial morphology were detected in APP and APP/PS1 mice. All three FAD models demonstrated a loss of the integrity of synaptic mitochondria and energy production. Metabolomic profiling revealed mutation-specific changes in the levels of metabolites reflecting altered energy metabolism and mitochondrial dysfunction in brains of FAD mice. Metabolic biomarkers adequately reflected gender differences similar to that reported for AD patients and correlated well with the biomarkers currently used for diagnosis in humans.
Conclusions
Mutation-specific alterations in mitochondrial dynamics, morphology and function in FAD mice occurred prior to the onset of memory and neurological phenotype and before the formation of amyloid deposits. Metabolomic signatures of mitochondrial stress and altered energy metabolism indicated alterations in nucleotide, Krebs cycle, energy transfer, carbohydrate, neurotransmitter, and amino acid metabolic pathways. Mitochondrial dysfunction, therefore, is an underlying event in AD progression, and FAD mouse models provide valuable tools to study early molecular mechanisms implicated in AD.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032737
PMCID: PMC3290628  PMID: 22393443
11.  The dynamin-related GTPase Opa1 is required for glucose-stimulated ATP production in pancreatic beta cells 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2011;22(13):2235-2245.
The physiological function of Opa1, a dynamin-related GTPase required for mitochondrial fusion, is described in glucose-stimulated ATP production in pancreatic beta cells.
Previous studies using in vitro cell culture systems have shown the role of the dynamin-related GTPase Opa1 in apoptosis prevention and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) maintenance. However, it remains to be tested whether these functions of Opa1 are physiologically important in vivo in mammals. Here, using the Cre-loxP system, we deleted mouse Opa1 in pancreatic beta cells, in which glucose-stimulated ATP production in mitochondria plays a key role in insulin secretion. Beta cells lacking Opa1 maintained normal copy numbers of mtDNA; however, the amount and activity of electron transport chain complex IV were significantly decreased, leading to impaired glucose-stimulated ATP production and insulin secretion. In addition, in Opa1-null beta cells, cell proliferation was impaired, whereas apoptosis was not promoted. Consequently, mice lacking Opa1 in beta cells develop hyperglycemia. The data suggest that the function of Opa1 in the maintenance of the electron transport chain is physiologically relevant in beta cells.
doi:10.1091/mbc.E10-12-0933
PMCID: PMC3128526  PMID: 21551073
12.  Multicentric occurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis 
World Journal of Hepatology  2011;3(1):15-23.
AIM: To reveal the manner of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development in patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) focusing on multicentric occurrence (MO) of HCC.
METHODS: We compared clinicopathological characteristics between patients with and without MO of HCC arising from NASH background. The clinical features were implicated with reference to the literature available.
RESULTS: MO of HCC was identified with histological proof in 4 out of 12 patients with NASH-related HCC (2 males and 2 females). One patient had synchronous MO; an advanced HCC, two well-differentiated HCCs and a dysplastic nodule, followed by the development of metachronous MO of HCC. The other three patients had multiple advanced HCCs accompanied by a well-differentiated HCC or a dysplastic nodule. Of these three patients, one had synchronous MO, one had metachronous MO and the other had both synchronous and metachronous MO. There were no obvious differences between the patients with or without MO in terms of liver function tests, tumor markers and anatomical extent of HCC. On the other hand, all four patients with MO of HCC were older than 70 years old and had the comorbidities of obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), hypertension and cirrhosis. Although these conditions were not limited to MO of HCC, all the conditions were met in only one of eight patients without MO of HCC. Thus, concurrence of these conditions may be a predisposing situation to synchronous MO of HCC. In particular, old age, T2DM and cirrhosis were suggested to be prerequisite for MO because these factors were depicted in common among two other cases with MO of HCC under NASH in the literature.
CONCLUSION: The putative predisposing factors and necessary preconditions for synchronous MO of HCC in NASH were suggested in this study. Further investigations are required to clarify the accurate prevalence and predictors of MO to establish better strategies for treatment and prevention leading to the prognostic improvement in NASH.
doi:10.4254/wjh.v3.i1.15
PMCID: PMC3035698  PMID: 21307983
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Multicentric occurrence
13.  Shear wave velocity is a useful marker for managing nonalcoholic steatohepatitis 
AIM: To investigate whether a noninvasive measurement of tissue strain has a potential usefulness for management of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
METHODS: In total 26 patients, 23 NASHs and 3 normal controls were enrolled in this study. NASH was staged based on Brunt criterion. At a region of interest (ROI), a shear wave was evoked by implementing an acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI), and the propagation velocity was quantified.
RESULTS: Shear wave velocity (SWV) could be reproducibly quantified at all ROIs in all subjects except for 4 NASH cases, in which a reliable SWV value was not calculated at several ROIs. An average SWV of 1.34 ± 0.26 m/s in fibrous stage 0-1 was significantly slower than 2.20 ± 0.74 m/s and 2.90 ± 1.01 m/s in stages 3 and 4, respectively, but was not significantly different from 1.79 ± 0.78 m/s in stage 2. When a cutoff value was set at 1.47 m/s, receiver operating characteristic analysis showed significance to dissociate stages 3 and 4 from stage 0-1 (P = 0.0092) with sensitivity, specificity and area under curve of 100%, 75% and 94.2%, respectively. In addition, the correlation between SWV and hyaluronic acid was significant (P < 0.0001), while a tendency toward negative correlation was observed with serum albumin (P = 0.053).
CONCLUSION: The clinical implementation of ARFI provides noninvasive repeated evaluations of liver stiffness at an arbitrary position, which has the potential to shed new light on NASH management.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v16.i23.2918
PMCID: PMC2887589  PMID: 20556839
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; Ultrasound; Liver stiffness measurement; Shear wave velocity; Acoustic radiation force impulse
14.  The dynamin-related GTPase Drp1 is required for embryonic and brain development in mice 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2009;186(6):805-816.
Brain-specific Drp1 knockout mice demonstrate that Drp1-mediated organelle division is important for development, mitochondrial morphogenesis, and apoptosis.
The dynamin-related guanosine triphosphatase Drp1 mediates the division of mitochondria and peroxisomes. To understand the in vivo function of Drp1, complete and tissue-specific mouse knockouts of Drp1 were generated. Drp1-null mice die by embryonic day 11.5. This embryonic lethality is not likely caused by gross energy deprivation, as Drp1-null cells showed normal intracellular adenosine triphosphate levels. In support of the role of Drp1 in organelle division, mitochondria formed extensive networks, and peroxisomes were elongated in Drp1-null embryonic fibroblasts. Brain-specific Drp1 ablation caused developmental defects of the cerebellum in which Purkinje cells contained few giant mitochondria instead of the many short tubular mitochondria observed in control cells. In addition, Drp1-null embryos failed to undergo developmentally regulated apoptosis during neural tube formation in vivo. However, Drp1-null embryonic fibroblasts have normal responses to apoptotic stimuli in vitro, suggesting that the apoptotic function of Drp1 depends on physiological cues. These findings clearly demonstrate the physiological importance of Drp1-mediated organelle division in mice.
doi:10.1083/jcb.200903065
PMCID: PMC2753156  PMID: 19752021
15.  Ups1p and Ups2p antagonistically regulate cardiolipin metabolism in mitochondria 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2009;185(6):1029-1045.
Cardiolipin, a unique phospholipid composed of four fatty acid chains, is located mainly in the mitochondrial inner membrane (IM). Cardiolipin is required for the integrity of several protein complexes in the IM, including the TIM23 translocase, a dynamic complex which mediates protein import into the mitochondria through interactions with the import motor presequence translocase–associated motor (PAM). In this study, we report that two homologous intermembrane space proteins, Ups1p and Ups2p, control cardiolipin metabolism and affect the assembly state of TIM23 and its association with PAM in an opposing manner. In ups1Δ mitochondria, cardiolipin levels were decreased, and the TIM23 translocase showed altered conformation and decreased association with PAM, leading to defects in mitochondrial protein import. Strikingly, loss of Ups2p restored normal cardiolipin levels and rescued TIM23 defects in ups1Δ mitochondria. Furthermore, we observed synthetic growth defects in ups mutants in combination with loss of Pam17p, which controls the integrity of PAM. Our findings provide a novel molecular mechanism for the regulation of cardiolipin metabolism.
doi:10.1083/jcb.200812018
PMCID: PMC2711612  PMID: 19506038
16.  Tim23–Tim50 pair coordinates functions of translocators and motor proteins in mitochondrial protein import 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2009;184(1):129-141.
Mitochondrial protein traffic requires coordinated operation of protein translocator complexes in the mitochondrial membrane. The TIM23 complex translocates and inserts proteins into the mitochondrial inner membrane. Here we analyze the intermembrane space (IMS) domains of Tim23 and Tim50, which are essential subunits of the TIM23 complex, in these functions. We find that interactions of Tim23 and Tim50 in the IMS facilitate transfer of precursor proteins from the TOM40 complex, a general protein translocator in the outer membrane, to the TIM23 complex. Tim23–Tim50 interactions also facilitate a late step of protein translocation across the inner membrane by promoting motor functions of mitochondrial Hsp70 in the matrix. Therefore, the Tim23–Tim50 pair coordinates the actions of the TOM40 and TIM23 complexes together with motor proteins for mitochondrial protein import.
doi:10.1083/jcb.200808068
PMCID: PMC2615085  PMID: 19139266
17.  Mgr3p and Mgr1p Are Adaptors for the Mitochondrial i-AAA Protease Complex 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2008;19(12):5387-5397.
By screening yeast knockouts for their dependence upon the mitochondrial genome, we identified Mgr3p, a protein that associates with the i-AAA protease complex in the mitochondrial inner membrane. Mgr3p and Mgr1p, another i-AAA-interacting protein, form a subcomplex that bind to the i-AAA subunit Yme1p. We find that loss of Mgr3p, like the lack of Mgr1p, reduces proteolysis by Yme1p. Mgr3p and Mgr1p can bind substrate even in the absence of Yme1p, and both proteins are needed for maximal binding of an unfolded substrate by the i-AAA complex. We speculate that Mgr3p and Mgr1p function in an adaptor complex that targets substrates to the i-AAA protease for degradation.
doi:10.1091/mbc.E08-01-0103
PMCID: PMC2592643  PMID: 18843051
18.  Identification of Tam41 maintaining integrity of the TIM23 protein translocator complex in mitochondria 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2006;174(5):631-637.
Newly synthesized mitochondrial proteins are imported into mitochondria with the aid of protein translocator complexes in the outer and inner mitochondrial membranes. We report the identification of yeast Tam41, a new member of mitochondrial protein translocator systems. Tam41 is a peripheral inner mitochondrial membrane protein facing the matrix. Disruption of the TAM41 gene led to temperature-sensitive growth of yeast cells and resulted in defects in protein import via the TIM23 translocator complex at elevated temperature both in vivo and in vitro. Although Tam41 is not a constituent of the TIM23 complex, depletion of Tam41 led to a decreased molecular size of the TIM23 complex and partial aggregation of Pam18 and -16. Import of Pam16 into mitochondria without Tam41 was retarded, and the imported Pam16 formed aggregates in vitro. These results suggest that Tam41 facilitates mitochondrial protein import by maintaining the functional integrity of the TIM23 protein translocator complex from the matrix side of the inner membrane.
doi:10.1083/jcb.200603087
PMCID: PMC2064306  PMID: 16943180
19.  Two novel proteins in the mitochondrial outer membrane mediate β-barrel protein assembly 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2004;166(5):621-627.
Mitochondrial outer and inner membranes contain translocators that achieve protein translocation across and/or insertion into the membranes. Recent evidence has shown that mitochondrial β-barrel protein assembly in the outer membrane requires specific translocator proteins in addition to the components of the general translocator complex in the outer membrane, the TOM40 complex. Here we report two novel mitochondrial outer membrane proteins in yeast, Tom13 and Tom38/Sam35, that mediate assembly of mitochondrial β-barrel proteins, Tom40, and/or porin in the outer membrane. Depletion of Tom13 or Tom38/Sam35 affects assembly pathways of the β-barrel proteins differently, suggesting that they mediate different steps of the complex assembly processes of β-barrel proteins in the outer membrane.
doi:10.1083/jcb.200405138
PMCID: PMC2172422  PMID: 15326197
mitochondria; protein import; membrane protein assembly; yeast; translocator

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