Regulation by heme of mitochondrial protein transport through a conserved amino acid motif

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Science  22 Jan 1993:
Vol. 259, Issue 5094, pp. 522-525
DOI: 10.1126/science.8424176


A conserved motif, termed the heme regulatory motif (HRM), was identified in the presequences of the erythroid delta-aminolevulinate synthase precursors and was shown to be involved in hemin inhibition of transport of these proteins into mouse mitochondria in vitro. When the HRM was inserted into the presequence of the ornithine transcarbamoylase precursor, a normally unregulated mitochondrial protein, it conferred hemin inhibition on the transport of the chimeric protein. The conserved cysteine within the HRM was shown by site-directed mutagenesis to be required for hemin inhibition.

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