Ribosomes Specifically Bind to Mammalian Mitochondria via Protease-sensitive Proteins on the Outer Membrane
Journal of Biological Chemistry
The interaction of ribosomes with specific components of membranes is one of the central themes to the co-translational targeting and import of proteins. To examine ribosome binding to mammalian mitochondria, we used ribosome-nascent chain complexes (RNCs) to follow the in vitro binding of ribosomes that correspond to the initial targeting stage of proteins. Mitochondria were found to contain a limited number of RNC binding sites on the outer membrane. It required more than twice the amount of
... wice the amount of non-translating ribosomes to inhibit RNC binding by one-half, indicating that RNCs have a competitive binding advantage. In addition, we found that RNCs bind mainly through the ribosomal component and not the nascent chain. RNCs bind via protease-sensitive proteins on the outer membrane, as well as by protease-insensitive components suggesting that two classes of receptors exist. We also show that binding is sensitive to cation conditions. Nearly all of the binding was inhibited in 0.5 M KCl, indicating that they interact with the membrane primarily through electrostatic interactions. In addition, disruption of RNC structure by removing magnesium causes the complete inhibition of binding under normal binding conditions indicating that it is the intact ribosome that is crucial for binding and not the nascent chain. These findings support the hypothesis that the outer mitochondrial membrane contains receptors specific for ribosomes, which would support the conditions necessary for co-translational import.