Molecule of the Month
February 2017
Complex Protein Import Complexes

Mitochondrial protein import is essential for all eukaryotes. Arresting typical substrates of this process inside the translocation machinery and subsequent co-immunoprecipitation allowed to analyze the composition of the active protein translocase in the inner mitochondrial membrane of the parasite Trypanosoma brucei. The non-canonical TIM translocase features a highly unusual subunit composition and imports an unprecedented variety of different substrates. The comparative analysis of mitochondrial protein translocases will help to understand the evolution of complex cells.

This work was carried out in the group of Prof. André Schneider.


  • A. Harsman, S. Oeljeklaus, C. Wenger, J. L. Huot, B. Warscheid, A. Schneider;
    "The non-canonical mitochondrial inner membrane presequence translocase of trypanosomatids contains two essential rhomboid-like proteins"
    Nat. Commun., 2016, 7, 13707/1-12; doi:10.1038/ncomms13707.
    Media release by the University of Bern.
  • A. Harsman, A. Schneider;
    "Mitochondrial protein import in trypanosomes: Expect the unexpected"
    Traffic, 2017, 18(2), 96-109; doi:10.1111/tra.12463.