A protein quality control pathway at the mitochondrial outer membrane.
Maintaining the essential functions of mitochondria requires mechanisms to recognize and remove misfolded proteins. However, quality control (QC) pathways for misfolded mitochondrial proteins remain poorly defined. Here, we establish temperature-sensitive (ts-) peripheral mitochondrial outer membrane (MOM) proteins as novel model QC substrates in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The ts- proteins sen2-1HAts and sam35-2HAts are degraded from the MOM by the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Ubiquitination of sen2-1HAts is mediated by the ubiquitin ligase (E3) Ubr1, while sam35-2HAts is ubiquitinated primarily by San1. Mitochondria-associated degradation (MAD) of both substrates requires the SSA family of Hsp70s and the Hsp40 Sis1, providing the first evidence for chaperone involvement in MAD. In addition to a role for the Cdc48-Npl4-Ufd1 AAA-ATPase complex, Doa1 and a mitochondrial pool of the transmembrane Cdc48 adaptor, Ubx2, are implicated in their degradation. This study reveals a unique QC pathway comprised of a combination of cytosolic and mitochondrial factors that distinguish it from other cellular QC pathways.