Characterization of Yml, a novel mitochondrial intermembrane space protein.
Authors:Robert McMickle, Jaee Tamhane
Mentor:Deepa Dabir, Assistant Professor of Biology, Loyola Marymount University
Defects in mitochondrial import pathways are implicated in many diseases including neurodegeneration, stroke and cancer. Specifically, defects in the mitochondrial import pathway utilized by Erv1 result in inherited cardiomyopathy and neuropathy. Currently, no effective therapies exist in the treatment of such diseases. Furthermore, whereas the role of these proteins in the model system yeast is well understood, the elucidation of how defects in these proteins lead to disease in higher eukaryotes is difficult. As most mitochondrial proteins are synthesized in the cytoplasm and transported across the outer membrane of the mitochondria, import systems are critical for proper mitochondrial function. Yml interacts with Erv1 and OSM1, two other mitochondrial inner membrane proteins to form a ternary complex. Yeast devoid of Yml are viable, however, show defect in growth under anaerobic conditions and in the presence of stressors such as oxidizing or reducing agents, indicating that it may be involved in the electron transport chain. This research assesses the function of Yml in the mitochondrial inner membrane and helps to delineate protein import pathway mechanisms.