Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Single molecule tracking fluorescence microscopy in mitochondria reveals highly dynamic but confined movement of Tom40

Most of the mitochondrial proteins are imported from the cytoplasm, with only a small fraction (about 1%) encoded in the mitochondrial genome. Import is mediated by two complexes: TOM (transporter outer membrane) and TIM (transporter inner membrane). We have a pretty good idea about the players involved in mitochondrial protein import, but we have very little idea about the dynamics of TOM/TIM movement in the mitochondrial membrane.

We tried addressing this question using single molecule fluorescent microscopy in isolated yeast mitochondria. What we see is that Tom40, the central component of TOM complex, is highly confined (i.e. restricted in terms of aerea it can sample) but within its confinement it moves pretty rapidly.


Kuzmenko et al., Scientific Reports (2011) 1:95


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