We have identified a novel protein, Mft52, in the cytosol of yeast cells. Mft52 has a two-domain structure that includes a receptor-like carboxyl-terminal "acid-bristle" domain, which binds basic, amphipathic mitochondrial targeting sequences. Native Mft52, purified from the cytosol of yeast cells, is found as a large particle eluting in the void volume of a Superose 6 gel filtration column. Fusion proteins, consisting of mitochondrial targeting sequences fused to nonmitochondrial passenger proteins, are targeted to mitochondria in wild-type yeast cells, but defects in the gene encoding Mft52 drastically reduce the delivery of these proteins to the mitochondria. We propose that Mft52 is a subunit of a particle that is part of a system of targeting factors and molecular chaperones mediating the earliest stages of protein targeting to the mitochondria.