The intermembrane space (IMS) represents the smallest subcompartment of mitochondria. Nevertheless, it plays important roles in the transport and modification of proteins, lipids, and metal ions and in the regulation and assembly of the respiratory chain complexes. Moreover, it is involved in many redox processes and coordinates key steps in programmed cell death. A comprehensive profiling of IMS proteins has not been performed so far. We have established a method that uses the proapoptotic protein Bax to release IMS proteins from isolated mitochondria, and we profiled the protein composition of this compartment. Using stable isotope-labeled mitochondria from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we were able to measure specific Bax-dependent protein release and distinguish between quantitatively released IMS proteins and the background efflux of matrix proteins. From the known 31 soluble IMS proteins, 29 proteins were reproducibly identified, corresponding to a coverage of >90%. In addition, we found 20 novel intermembrane space proteins, out of which 10 had not been localized to mitochondria before. Many of these novel IMS proteins have unknown functions or have been reported to play a role in redox regulation. We confirmed IMS localization for 15 proteins using in organello import, protease accessibility upon osmotic swelling, and Bax-release assays. Moreover, we identified two novel mitochondrial proteins, Ymr244c-a (Coa6) and Ybl107c (Mic23), as substrates of the MIA import pathway that have unusual cysteine motifs and found the protein phosphatase Ptc5 to be a novel substrate of the inner membrane protease (IMP). For Coa6 we discovered a role as a novel assembly factor of the cytochrome c oxidase complex. We present here the first and comprehensive proteome of IMS proteins of yeast mitochondria with 51 proteins in total. The IMS proteome will serve as a valuable source for further studies on the role of the IMS in cell life and death.
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