Bimodal protein targeting through activation of cryptic mitochondrial targeting signals by an inducible cytosolic endoprotease.
Boopathi E, Srinivasan S, Fang JK, Avadhani NG
Molecular Cell (2008)
Category: mitochondria-biogenesis, protein transport ¤ Added: Oct 16, 2008 ¤ Rating: ◊◊
Bimodal targeting of the endoplasmic reticular protein, cytochrome P4501A1 (CYP1A1), to mitochondria involves activation of a cryptic mitochondrial targeting signal through endoprotease processing of the protein. Here, we characterized the endoprotease that regulates mitochondrial targeting of CYP1A1. The endoprotease, which was induced by beta-naphthoflavone, was a dimer of 90 kDa and 40 kDa subunits, each containing Ser protease domains. The purified protease processed CYP1A1 in a sequence-specific manner, leading to its mitochondrial import. The glucocorticoid receptor, retinoid X receptor, and p53 underwent similar processing-coupled mitochondrial transport. The inducible 90 kDa subunit was a limiting factor in many cells and some tissues and, thus, regulates the mitochondrial levels of these proteins. A number of other mitochondria-associated proteins with noncanonical targeting signals may also be substrates of this endoprotease. Our results describe a new mechanism of mitochondrial protein import that requires an inducible cytoplasmic endoprotease for activation of cryptic mitochondrial targeting signals.