Doron Rapaport

Biogenesis and quality control of the mitochondrial outer membrane

University of Tübingen
Faculty in: IMPRS


  • PhD work 1992-1995 at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot
  • Postdoctoral training 1996-2001 at the University of Munich
  • Group leader 2002-2006 at the University of Munich
  • Professor of Biochemistry at the Interfaculty Institute of Biochemistry, University of Tübingen since 2006

Research Interest
The mitochondrial outer membrane contains a diverse set of proteins including enzymes, pore-forming proteins, regulators of programmed cell death, and those that control the morphology of the organelle.
We investigate the molecular mechanisms by which the various mitochondrial outer membrane proteins are targeted to mitochondria, inserted into the outer membrane and assembled into functional complexes. In addition, we aim to understand how proteins that are mistargeted to mitochondria are recognized as such and subsequently removed. We further study the association of newly synthesized mitochondrial proteins with cytosolic chaperones. For our studies we use both yeast and mammalian cells as experimental systems and employ a variety of biochemical, molecular cell biology, and genetics assays.

Figure 1. Import pathways of mitochondrial proteins

Available PhD Projects in the IMPRS

  • Studying the contribution of cytosolic chaperones to mitochondrial protein import: Mitochondrial proteins are encoded in the nucleus, translated by cytosolic ribosomes and then imported into the organelle. Recently, a detailed understanding of the intra-mitochondrial import pathways of these proteins was obtained. In contrast, it is still unclear how newly synthesized mitochondrial proteins reach the mitochondrial surface in an import-competent conformation. In this project, we would like to unravel the cytosolic events of this process by studying how the involvement of cytosolic chaperones and cochaperones assures the optimal biogenesis of newly synthesized mitochondrial proteins.

Selected Reading

  • Jores, T., A. Klinger, L. Groß, S. Kawano, N. Flinner, et al. (2016) Characterization of the targeting signal in mitochondrial β-barrel proteins. Nature Comm. 7, 12036.
  • Jores, T., J. Lawatscheck, V. Beke, M. Franz-Wachtel, K. Yunoki, et al. (2018) Cytosolic Hsp70 and Hsp40 chaperones enable the biogenesis of mitochondrial β-barrel proteins. J. Cell Biol., 217, 3091-3108. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201712029.
  • Vitali, D.G., L. Drwesh, B.A. Cichocki, A. Kolb, and D. Rapaport (2020) The biogenesis of mitochondrial outer membrane proteins show variable dependence on import factors. iScience, 23, 100779. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2019.100779


Go to Editor View