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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-35471

Müller, A; Rassow, J; Grimm, J; Machuy, N; Meyer, T F; Rudel, T (2002). VDAC and the bacterial porin PorB of Neisseria gonorrhoeae share mitochondrial import pathways. EMBO Journal, 21(8):1916-1929.

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The human pathogen Neisseria gonorrhoeae induces host cell apoptosis during infection by delivering the outer membrane protein PorB to the host cell's mitochondria. PorB is a pore-forming beta-barrel protein sharing several features with the mitochondrial voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC), which is involved in the regulation of apoptosis. Here we show that PorB of pathogenic Neisseria species produced by host cells is efficiently targeted to mitochondria. Imported PorB resides in the mitochondrial outer membrane and forms multimers with similar sizes as in the outer bacterial membrane. The mitochondria completely lose their membrane potential, a characteristic previously observed in cells infected with gonococci or treated with purified PorB. Closely related bacterial porins of non-pathogenic Neisseria mucosa or Escherichia coli remain in the cytosol. Import of PorB into mitochondria in vivo is independent of a linear signal sequence. Insertion of PorB into the mitochondrial outer membrane in vitro depends on the activity of Tom5, Tom20 and Tom40, but is independent of Tom70. Our data show that human VDAC and bacterial PorB are imported into mitochondria by a similar mechanism.


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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Molecular Cancer Research
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Molecular Cancer Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Deposited On:17 Aug 2010 11:34
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:13
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:10.1093/emboj/21.8.1916
PubMed ID:11953311

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