9.B.391.  The Eukaryotic Inner Membrane Peptidase Complex (IMPC) Family 

The mitochondrial inner membrane peptidase IMP of Saccharomyces cerevisiae is required for proteolytic processing of certain mitochondrially and nucleus-encoded proteins during their export from the matrix into the inner membrane or the intermembrane space (Esser et al. 2004). The membrane-associated signal peptidase complex is composed of the two catalytic subunits, Imp1 and Imp2, and the Som1 protein. The IMP subunits are thought to function in membrane association, interaction and stabilisation of subunits, substrate specificity, and proteolysis. Esser et al. 2004 analysed inner membrane peptidase mutants and substrates to gain more insight into the functions of various domains and investigate the basis for substrate recognition. Certain conserved glycine residues in the second and third conserved regions of Imp1 and Imp2 are important for stabilisation of the Imp complex and for the proteolytic activity of the subunits, respectively. The non-conserved C-terminal parts of the Imp subunits are important for their proteolytic activities. The C-terminal region of Imp2, comprising a predicted second transmembrane segment, is dispensable for the stability of Imp2 and Imp1, and cannot functionally substitute for the C-terminal segment of Imp1. Alteration of the Imp2 cleavage site in cytochrome c(1) (from A/M to N/D) revealed the specificity of the Imp2 peptidase. They identified Gut2, the mitochondrial FAD-dependent glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, as a substrate for Imp1. Failure to cleave the Gut2 precursor may contribute to the pet phenotype of certain imp mutants. Gut2 is associated with the inner membrane, and is essential for growth on glycerol-containing medium (Esser et al. 2004). The peptidase components are homologous to eukaryotic and prokaryotic signal peptidases, (TC#s 1.A.54.3 (eukaryotic) and 9.B.220.2 and 9.B.252.3 (prokaryotic), respectively. See also, TC# 9.B.291.1.2.



Esser, K., P.S. Jan, E. Pratje, and G. Michaelis. (2004). The mitochondrial IMP peptidase of yeast: functional analysis of domains and identification of Gut2 as a new natural substrate. Mol. Genet. Genomics 271: 616-626.

Sandhu, H., R. Hedman, F. Cymer, R. Kudva, N. Ismail, and G. von Heijne. (2021). Cotranslational Translocation and Folding of a Periplasmic Protein Domain in Escherichia coli. J. Mol. Biol. 433: 167047.


TC#NameOrganismal TypeExample

Inner membrane signal peptidase complex consisting of Imp1 (190 aas, 0-3 TMSs, P28637), Imp2 (177 aas and 2 TMSs, P46972) and Som1 (74 aas, 0 TMSs, Q05676). See family description for details.

Imp1, 2, and Som1 of Saccharomyces cerevisiae


Signal peptidase I of 279 aas and 2 N-terminal TMSs.

Peptidase of Guyparkeria halophila


Signal peptidase I, LepB, of 324 aas and 2 or 3 N-terminal TMSs. Cotranslational translocation and folding of the periplasmic domain of LepB has been demonstrated (Sandhu et al. 2021).

LepB of E. coli