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'Sheltered disruption' of Neurospora crassa MOM22, an essential component of the mitochondrial protein import complex.
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MOM22 is a component of the protein import complex of the mitochondrial outer membrane of Neurospora crassa. Using the newly developed procedure of 'sheltered disruption', we created a heterokaryotic strain harboring two nuclei, one with a null allele of the mom-22 gene and the other with a wild-type allele. Homokaryons bearing the mom-22 disruption could not be isolated, suggesting that mom-22 is an essential gene. The mutant nucleus can be forced to predominate in the heterokaryon through the use of specific nutritional and inhibitor resistance markers. Cultivation of the heterokaryon under conditions favoring the mutant nucleus resulted in selective depletion of MOM22. MOM22-depleted cells did not grow and contained mitochondria with an altered morphology and protein composition. Protein import into isolated, MOM22-depleted mitochondria was abolished for most precursor proteins destined for all subcompartments. In contrast, precursors of MOM19, MOM22 and MOM72 became inserted normally into the outer membrane, defining a novel MOM22-independent import pathway which remained intact in mutant mitochondria. Furthermore, the specific binding of the ADP/ATP carrier to the outer membrane was unaffected, but subsequent transport across the outer membrane did not occur. Our data show that MOM22 is an essential component of Neurospora cells specifically required for the biogenesis of mitochondria.
Biological Transport, Cell Nucleus/genetics, DNA, Fungal/analysis, Fungal Proteins, Genes, Fungal, Genes, Lethal, Membrane Potentials, Membrane Proteins/genetics, Membrane Proteins/physiology, Membrane Transport Proteins, Mitochondria/metabolism, Mitochondria/physiology, Mitochondrial ADP, ATP Translocases/metabolism, Mutagenesis, Neurospora crassa/genetics, Neurospora crassa/growth & development, Protein Precursors/metabolism, Receptors, Cell Surface, Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear/metabolism
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