Extra-Mitochondrial Family Structure

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Many physiological processes in the cells require the participation of both intra- and extra-mitochondrial enzyme reactions. A link between mitochondria and cytosol is provided by a group of proteins known as the mitochondrial carriers (MCs) family (Arco & Satrustegui, 2005; F. Palmieri, 2004). MCs comprise a family of about 40-50 proteins, depending on the organism, and provide the main communication between mitochondrial matrix and extra-mitochondrial spaces by transporting a wide range of metabolites, nucleotides and cofactors. In humans, MCs are encoded by the nuclear SLC25 family genes and are membrane-embedded proteins that have to be imported into the i.m.m. (F. Palmieri, 2004). MCs are structurally related proteins of about 30 KDa that shared a tripartite structure with six hydrophobic domains. The analysis of the mitochondrial ADP/ATP carrier sequence, the first primary structure of a mitochondrial solute carrier to be reported (Aquila et al., 1982), established that the whole structure, of around 300 amino acids, could be divided into three tandemly repeated homologous domains, each of about 100 residues in length (Saraste & Walker, 1982) (Fig.1). Subsequently, this pattern of homologous repeats was also observed in the UCP1 carrier (Aquila et al., 1985), in…show more content…
The primary structure of these sequenced
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