Preprotein Translocase of the Outer Mitochondrial Membrane: Reconstituted Tom40 Forms a Characteristic TOM Pore Academic Article uri icon


  • Tom40 is the central pore-forming component of the translocase of the outer mitochondrial membrane (TOM complex). Different views exist about the secondary structure and electrophysiological characteristics of Tom40 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Neurospora crassa. We have directly compared expressed and renatured Tom40 from both species and find a high content of beta-structure in circular dichroism measurements in agreement with refined secondary structure predictions. The electrophysiological characterization of renatured Tom40 reveals the same characteristics as the purified TOM complex or mitochondrial outer membrane vesicles, with two exceptions. The total conductance of the TOM complex and outer membrane vesicles is twofold higher than the total conductance of renatured Tom40, consistent with the presence of two TOM pores. TOM complex and outer membrane vesicles possess a strongly enhanced sensitivity to a mitochondrial presequence compared to Tom40 alone, in agreement with the presence of several presequence binding sites in the TOM complex, suggesting a role of the non-channel Tom proteins in regulating channel activity.


  • Becker, Lars
  • Bannwarth, Michael
  • Meisinger, Chris
  • Hill, Kerstin
  • Model, Kirstin
  • Krimmer, Thomas
  • Casadio, Rita
  • Truscott, Kaye N
  • Schulz, Georg E
  • Pfanner, Nikolaus
  • Wagner, Richard

publication date

  • November 2005