Monitoring Editor: Benjamin Glick The presequence translocase of the mitochondrial inner membrane (TIM23 complex) mediates the import of preproteins with amino-terminal presequences. To drive matrix translocation the TIM23 complex recruits the presequence translocase-associated motor (PAM) with the matrix heat shock protein 70 (mtHsp70) as central subunit. Activity and localization of mtHsp70 are regulated by four membrane-associated cochaperones: the adaptor protein Tim44, the stimulatory J-complex Pam18/Pam16, and Pam17. It has been proposed that Tim44 serves as molecular platform to localize mtHsp70 and the J-complex at the TIM23 complex, while it is unknown how Pam17 interacts with the translocase. We generated conditional tim44 yeast mutants and selected a mutant allele, which differentially affects the association of PAM modules with TIM23. In tim44-804 mitochondria, the interaction of the J-complex with the TIM23 complex is impaired, whereas unexpectedly the binding of Pam17 is increased. Pam17 interacts with the channel protein Tim23, revealing a new interaction site between TIM23 and PAM. Thus, the motor PAM is composed of functional modules that bind to different sites of the translocase. We suggest that Tim44 is not simply a scaffold for binding of motor subunits but plays a differential role in the recruitment of PAM modules to the inner membrane translocase.
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