Mitochondrial membrane complex that contains proteins necessary for tRNA import in Trypanosoma brucei

David Seidman, Darryl Johnson, Vincent Gerbasi, Daniel Golden, Ron Orlando, Stephen Hajduk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The mitochondrial genome of Trypanosoma brucei does not contain genes encoding tRNAs; instead this protozoan parasite must import nuclear-encoded tRNAs from the cytosol for mitochondrial translation. Previously, it has been shown that mitochondrial tRNA import requires ATP hydrolysis and a proteinaceous mitochondrial membrane component. However, little is known about the mitochondrial membrane proteins involved in tRNA binding and translocation into the mitochondrion. Here we report the purification of a mitochondrial membrane complex using tRNA affinity purification and have identified several protein components of the putative tRNA translocon by mass spectrometry. Using an in vivo tRNA import assay in combination with RNA interference, we have verified that two of these proteins, Tb11.01.4590 and Tb09.v1.0420, are involved in mitochondrial tRNA import. Using ProteinCEpitope -Tobacco Etch Virus-Protein A Epitope (PTP)-tagged Tb11.01.4590, additional associated proteins were identified including Tim17 and other mitochondrial proteins necessary for mitochondrial protein import. Results presented here identify and validate two novel protein components of the putative tRNA translocon and provide additional evidence that mitochondrial tRNA and protein import have shared components in trypanosomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8892-8903
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 16 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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