Cluster of Excellence –
University of Freiburg

Analysis of lipid-dependent assembly of mitochondrial outer membrane proteins using synthetic membrane systems

Prof. Dr. Chris Meisinger (Institute for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ZBMZ, and BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies, University of Freiburg)

The mitochondrial outer membrane plays a crucial role in cellular functions. It consists of approx. 100 different proteins including beta barrel proteins and single transmembrane proteins. All outer membrane proteins are encoded in the nucleus and have to be imported from the cytosol and assembled into their native structures within the membrane. While the import and assembly routes of beta barrel proteins were studied in great detail, the biogenesis of single transmembrane proteins is poorly understood. Several proteins were shown to be involved in this process including Mim1, Tom proteins and the sorting and assembly machinery SAM. However, only little is known about a potential role of lipids in the biogenesis pathways of outer membrane proteins. We therefore aim to rebuild the outer membrane import and assembly pathways in liposomes using various lipid composition to uncover roles of various lipid species in protein biogenesis.