The protein encoded by this gene is named for its structural resemblance to the members of the mitochondrial carrier protein family. The MTCH1 gene contains 12 exons and produces four isoforms. These isoforms arise from alternative splicing of exon 8 and two potential start codons, which results in the deletion of 17 amino acid residues in the hydrophilic loop between two transmembrane domains of some isoforms. Though they differ in sequence and length, the four isoforms still share a similar topological structure, including six transmembrane domains, one of which is responsible for localization to the outer mitochondrial membrane (OMM), and two N-terminal apoptotic domains. As a result, all four isoforms retain these apoptotic domains and mitochondrial localization, both of which are required for the protein’s proapoptotic function.
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