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Traffic. 2011 May;12(5):535-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0854.2011.01171.x. Epub 2011 Feb 25.

Molecular mechanism of co-translational protein targeting by the signal recognition particle.

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  • 1Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.


The signal recognition particle (SRP) is a key component of the cellular machinery that couples the ongoing synthesis of proteins to their proper localization, and has often served as a paradigm for understanding the molecular basis of protein localization within the cell. The SRP pathway exemplifies several key molecular events required for protein targeting to cellular membranes: the specific recognition of signal sequences on cargo proteins, the efficient delivery of cargo to the target membrane, the productive unloading of cargo to the translocation machinery and the precise spatial and temporal coordination of these molecular events. Here we highlight recent advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying this pathway, and discuss new questions raised by these findings.

© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

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