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Corvin Walter

Corvin Walter

Regulatory mechanisms in mitochondrial protein import and assembly

Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Chris Meisinger

Institute for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Stefan-Meier-Straße 17
79104 Freiburg

Phone: +49 (0) 761-203-97472



Mitochondria adopt many highly important functions in eukaryotic cells, such as energy conversion, regulation of apoptosis and various biosynthesis pathways. To fulfill mitochondrial tasks, hundreds of different cytosolic synthesized proteins have to be imported into mitochondria via multi-step transport pathways. Therefore, many proteins possess a targeting signal, named presequence, which allows the precursor protein import by different translocases in the outer (TOM) and inner mitochondrial membrane (TIM). The precursors have to be recognized, transported, sorted and assembled through the different protein import machineries. Currently, translocases are identified and mechanically understood. However, the regulation of these machineries seems to be largely unknown.

Our lab has recently shown that posttranslational modifications, such as protein phosphorylation, have huge impact on protein import through the translocase of outer mitochondrial membrane. My project aims to identify novel regulatory mechanisms in mitochondrial protein import and assembly. Especially, to understand how mitochondrial protein biogenesis is embedded in cellular signalling systems in order to adapt mitochondrial functions to cellular demands under physiological and pathophysiological conditions.


  • Yeast cell culture
  • Isolation of Mitochondria
  • Cell free translation of membrane proteins
  • In vitro protein import into mitochondria
  • Protein phosphorylation and dephosphorylation assays
  • Various gel electrophoresis techniques, especially Phos-tag SDS-PAGE
  • Blue native PAGE